Retail customers are no longer tied to a physical location to buy what they need – in fact, they’re not even tied to a desktop computer to buy things online. Mobile devices offer the freedom of shopping anywhere and better payment flexibility. This is becoming a key revenue driver for many businesses, and in fact, many start-ups are growing up out of the notion that more people prefer to do their shopping and service ordering on the go for greater flexibility.
Mobile commerce is just a subset of e-commerce. M-commerce refers to just about any type of payment being facilitated through a mobile app or device. It can be paying for something in-store using a mobile app or using the Amazon app to buy something online. Overall, m-commerce has grown to be a significant part of retail sales and payment; in 2017 alone, over 34% of e-commerce sales were mobile transactions.
Here are some examples to explain m-commerce and how it’s used.
- In-app purchases
- Mobile banking
- Virtual marketplaces like Amazon or Etsy apps
- Digital wallets, including Apple Pay and Android Pay
- Delivery apps like Postmates, GrubHub, and Instacart
- Apps with a bill pay feature, like mobile car insurance apps
- Stock trading apps
Smart, deliberate mobile commerce strategies are becoming increasingly important to improve the customer experience and boost engagement.
The importance of a strong Mobile commerce strategy
Since more business is being conducted through mobile devices, businesses need to make sure that a good portion of their marketing and sales strategy is specifically designed to help boost mobile engagement and improve customer interactions to strengthen customer retention.
Best Mobile Commerce Strategies for Your Business
Here are some of the best mobile commerce strategies to consider.
1. Prioritize app development
If your business doesn’t have a dedicated app to help customers perform research and serve as a purchase platform, this might be an area worth prioritizing. One of the most effective ways to improve mobile commerce strategies is to create an app that enables better, more direct customer interaction.
2. Consider design
Mobile-optimized content is key, but the design goes beyond that. Not only should emails and landing pages always be designed to display well in mobile, how a customer will be interacting with the mobile screen should also be considered as part of the design. Will any parts of the design be blocked by a scrolling thumb? Are the buttons large enough to press on a phone screen?
3. Don’t forget SEO
SEO counts everywhere. Make sure that your app content – including the app description in the app store – are optimized to be easily found by your audience.
4. Simplify service
Using SMS or text messaging customer service has proven to be a huge driver of mobile customer engagement. Freshly, a food delivery subscription service recently launched a premium version of the service that includes dedicated text message customer service. SMS customer service gives on-the-go mobile users the ability to chat with a customer service rep as easily as anyone else and resolve problems from wherever they need to be. It makes sense that if purchases can be completed using the screen of a mobile device, customer service for that business should be just as simple.
5. Streamline checkout
This applies to in-store and in-app purchase. Users who have the option to pay digitally in the store will have a more convenient and positive experience. With in-app purchases, Amazon has perfected this with their “one-touch checkout” that only requires a swipe to confirm a stored payment.
6. Use push notifications creatively
One of the benefits of having a native app installed on users’ devices is that it can drive notifications to the home screen of a phone or tablet, immediately sharing info with a customer. These notifications are more impactful and immediate than an email or retargeting banner. For instance, if a customer uses your app to shop you can send an automatic “abandoned cart” notification to encourage or remind a customer to complete their purchase.
7. Keep it short and simple
Marketing and advertising are still a crucial part of developing your customer outreach in mobile commerce strategies. You might have created a beautiful, user-friendly app to help your customers connect with the solutions they want, but if nobody knows about your business, who will ever interact with the app? That’s why making sure that some of your m-commerce focus gets funneled to not just creating the best possible m-commerce experience, but also to driving brand awareness. When it comes to creating mobile-specific ads as part of your mobile commerce strategies, keep your messages short and direct. You only have a few moments to capture customer attention as they’re scrolling, so high-impact, attention-grabbing images and clear CTAs are crucial.
M-commerce will only grow as an important and significant business unit. Developing effective mobile commerce strategies takes time and creativity, but these tips can serve as a jumping-off point for developing places to improve.