The growth and widespread adoption of mobile technology has revolutionized how we communicate, organize our lives and conduct business. For entrepreneurs and small business owners, the mobile phone is a gateway to more sales and higher customer retention. In this article, we’ll show you how.
Mobile Business: The Game Changer
If you’re a business owner, mobile technology is no longer considered a branding exercise, but a critical part of your business strategy. Consumers love shopping on their phone, and recent industry trends suggest more people are paying through apps and e-wallets.
Consumers love conducting business through their phone because it’s easy, convenient and secure. Ensuring your business is set up to capitalize on this demand should be at the top of your to-do list.
Naturally, there is no one-size-fits-all method to maximizing your mobile presence. Below, we look at a few ways your company can use mobile technology to enhance customer experience, improve visibility and generate more sales.
Optimizing Your Mobile Website
It’s often said that you can’t run a successful business in the 21st century without a website. This is definitely true.
However, in 2017, this also extends to your mobile website.
Unfortunately, developing a desktop website doesn’t mean it’s optimized for mobile use.
If you haven’t thought about optimizing your mobile site, there’s a pretty good chance it’s not fit for mobile browsing. As the world shifts from desktop computers to mobile devices, businesses need to spend more time focusing on the mobile interface.
Otherwise, your site will not behave properly or look the part when accessed on a mobile device.
There are an estimated 1.2 billion mobile web users around the world. As this number rises, you’ll want to make sure your website caters to those users.
To optimize the mobile version of your site, consider creating fluid layouts as opposed to rigid ones. After all, there are far too many possible screen sizes out there to settle on just one. You need to create a layout that adapts seamlessly to all of them.
Although appearance is important, you should spend even more time optimizing your site’s functionality. Browsing patterns are often different on a handheld phone versus desktop computer. Your functionality design should reflect that.
One helpful tip is to make all content available to all users that browse your site on a mobile phone instead of hiding some of the contents from mobile users.
We understand that most entrepreneurs and small business owners are not tech gurus, and probably don’t have much background in web development. If you’ve outsourced your website or have a dedicated I.T. department taking care of it, work with them to ensure that your mobile website is optimized.
Developing a Mobile App
Depending on the nature of your business, developing a mobile app could increase your marketing power. Consumers are app-crazy. By the end of 2017, mobile apps will have been downloaded more than 268 billion times, according to Gartner. Together, those downloads will have generated more than $77 billion in revenue for app companies!
This is what Gartner had to say about it:
“Mobile apps have become the official channel to drive content and services to consumers. From entertainment content to productivity services, from quantified-self to home automation, there is an app for practically anything a connected consumer may want to achieve.” (Gartner, 2014).
The cost of app development has gone down significantly in recent years as their availability and popularity have risen. Now, small businesses can use software development kits to develop a sleek app quickly and at a lower cost.
Mobile app developers can also be sourced on freelance websites, social media and professional networks, so there’s no need to hire a full IT staff to create a custom app.
A recent survey from Contract IQ found that 62% of businesses have at least one mobile app or are in the process of developing one. Apps are used for branding, generating revenues and providing customers with support and engagement. If you’re a customer-facing industry, a custom app could be just what you need to boost convergence.
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Accepting Mobile Payments
Mobile payments refer to a broad range of technologies that serve different purposes and end markets. Whether by accepting credit cards in the field or by letting customers pay with smartphones, mobile technology can greatly enhance your company’s payment processing.
It’s not always easy figuring out which form of mobile payment to accept. If you run a business that requires you to be out in the field, a service like Square offers you a mobile credit card processor in case your customers don’t like paying in cash.
Storefront businesses may also want to consider enabling near-field communications (NFC) to process e-wallet payments through Apple Pay or Google Wallet. These mobile payment solutions are growing in popularity as regulation becomes more favorable.
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It’s All About Customer Experience
At the end of the day, strengthening your mobile presence is all about enhancing the customer experience. When it comes to mobile technology, consumers have voted with their feet.
Businesses that optimize their mobile website and create enabling apps and services are almost certain to appeal to a wider audience.
The benefits of adopting mobile technology extend far beyond convenience. The data generated by your mobile app, website or mobile payment processor can help you track consumer trends and inventory.
If you become really advanced, you’ll be able to use that data to increase incentive programs that up-sell to consumers based on location, interests and previous purchases. When it comes to technology, there’s no limit to what you can do.
Mobile is the next phase of the IT revolution. It brings with it the potential of tremendous reward for businesses willing to experiment with it.
In the weeks and months to come, Red Door Capital Group will release new articles as part of its Fin-Tech Business Series. Keep track of our Blog to learn more!