Yes, you’re frustrated. Just when you thought you had a handle on e-commerce, along comes a whole new challenge: m-commerce. Increasingly important to online sales, mobile also provides vital insights into how customers research and buy products. Frustrating though it may be, you need to embrace m-commerce now. As in, right now.
The way people buy online is becoming more and more sophisticated, with customers utilizing numerous devices on a nuanced purchasing journey. Research can be carried out on smartphones and tablets, with the ultimate purchasing decision being made via desktop computers. If you can’t engage with people via mobile in the first place, you won’t be able to attract the customer.
And mobile is developing rapidly. We already have reached the point where there are more mobile devices on the planet than people, and this is before many developing regions have truly embraced mobile. Emerging nations are rapidly adopting mobile, and this will trigger a quick rise in the total market value of m-commerce over the coming years. Similarly, a growing middle-class in countries such as China ensures that the mobile marketplace will continue to evolve rapidly.
You simply can’t afford to ignore mobile any longer. So here are five excellent reasons to get on board with m-commerce today:
1. Coupons Spur Sales
Entrepreneurs pay attention when they see the words “increasing sales”—and that’s precisely what m-commerce offers via coupons. Texting coupons to your customers via mobile platforms can really pay dividends. It’s even possible to set up this process so they receive a coupon the moment they enter your store.
Be aware, however, that receiving texts can cost some mobile users extra money, and people, of course, don’t like to pay money in order to be spammed. So, get approval from customers before sending them coupon offers. Once they’ve opted-in, this can be a fantastic way to share deals with valued customers.
2. Loyal Customers Want Rewards
People generally like loyalty cards. But the variety of store cards that it’s possible to accumulate today can be annoying. Digital loyalty cards solve this problem. All consumers will have to do is download your mobile app, and viola … their smartphone is turned into a mobile loyalty card.
Apple’s App Store has embraced this concept in recent years, and the company is certainly doing okay financially …
3. Customer Data Is Very Valuable
Mobile applications offer consumers flexibility while providing the apps creator (i.e. you) with the ability to collect a range of valuable user data. Mobile platforms now feature a wide variety of tools that enable entrepreneurs and business owners to gather customer data without being unduly intrusive. Understanding the customer is the heart of contemporary marketing and commerce. M-commerce promises to make this always-challenging process considerably easier.
4. Mobile Payments Are the Future
Smartphones also make fantastic portable card readers. It is no coincidence that the mobile payment marketplace is expected to become an extremely fertile niche in the coming years. The consumer electronics giant that is Apple already has invested in mobile payments with Apple Pay. And we expect to see a battle over this valuable niche in the coming years, as Google and Samsung unveil competing systems.
If you would like to offer your customers an alternative to credit card transactions, mobile payment via smartphone is the answer. Consumers already have warmed to making small payments on their mobile devices, a trend that will only increase in the future. By extending this payment option to your customers, you’ll be positioning yourself ahead of the trend—and reaping the rewards down the road.
5. Customer Engagement Breeds Loyalty
With an estimated market value of $1 trillion, it’s safe to say people love mobile apps. There are literally thousands of m-commerce applications that a small business can create and easily customize from readily available templates. You can use them to communicate with customers, inform them about events, or share other useful information. And they don’t have to be commercially-oriented; you can share fun and interesting content as well.
Clearly, m-commerce is here to stay. Getting a handle on it today will give your prospects and customers another reason to do business with you while your competition struggles to keep up.