In a past blog post, I wrote about the importance of catching people in the different phases of the shopping experience. It isn’t enough to make a good product, have a great website, strong point of sale materials, and an informative sales training program for the RSA. If you are not in the pocket of the consumer when they are in your store, you could be in big trouble!
My friend Cindy Williams wrote a great article for Sleep Savvy in which she talked about mobile commerce, or mCommerce. Here are three stats that reinforce the game-changing impact of mobile devices:
- Over 200 million people will have smart phones by the end of 2012.
- Mobile commerce hit $6.7 billion in 2011 and is predicted to be $11.6 billion this year.
- Nearly half of consumers (47%) have accessed customer reviews in a store.
Pause on that last point for a moment. Almost half the people in your store are looking at reviews. As the influence of mobile devices expands, this number is only going to grow. How are you intercepting the consumer in the shopping phase of buying a mattress? It doesn’t really matter if you are a retailer, bedding producer, or component supplier. If you want people to give your solution some consideration, you need to figure out how to get inside that phone they’re carrying. Here are four ways you can start taking advantage of the mobile boom:
- Realize that SEO (search engine optimization) is very important for your digital presence. Yes, you want to have a great looking website, but it is extremely important that search engine spiders can crawl your site and index the information that will be important to the consumer when he or she is in the market.
- Are you just selling AT the consumer, or are you providing useful information that will actually serve the shopper and make their entire experience better or easier? Shoppers are using mobile devices to access reviews and information, so make sure what you are providing is useful.
- Consider a geolocation approach. In other words, if you are a bedding brand or retailer let the consumer know when they are close to your store or a store that carries your products. Let people know there is a reason to stop and buy. Read more about geolocation marketing by clicking here.
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly! It’s irritating to visit a website when you are in the shopping phase only to discover it’s not optimized for the mobile user. You know what I am talking about. Those are the sites you have to constantly scroll around on because the images and copy don’t fit your little screen. If a consumer has to work hard to read your content, they will “bounce” to find a better solution.
There is a lot of information about mobile commerce, so do your homework. Check out these articles for starters:
- Top 7 Mobile Commerce Trends in 2011
- 29% of in-store mobile researchers wind up buying online
- The State and Trends of the Mobile Internet
Be ahead of your competition and you’ll gain a big advantage.
What does your mobile strategy look like? Tell me in the comments section below, and don’t forget to include a link to your mobile-friendly website.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are mine and mine alone. They do not represent the thinking of the company I work for, or anyone else with whom I am affiliated. Except my wife of course, who is good at telling me what not to say.