Nearly two-thirds of consumers expect an easy, high-quality user experience on their mobile devices, according to Loyalty360. As more consumers spend their time on smartphones and tablets, their online shopping behaviors are being changed, and those consumers are getting more demanding. Mobile devices are now used to conduct product research and perform price comparisons between online retailers and physical store locations. Businesses of all sizes need to understand how to engage consumers through this new platform. Even if you’re a modest-sized business competing against major corporations, there is plenty you can do to target mobile consumers and establish your presence on smartphones and tablets. Here are four tips to help you succeed:
Track Your Traffic From Mobile Consumers
Online businesses now have access to a multitude of analytics solutions. These software tools can evaluate your incoming Web traffic to provide a wealth of insights related to where visitors are coming from, as well as what devices they’re using. Companies can choose from major, comprehensive solutions like Google Analytics or defer to smaller, proven solutions like CrazyEgg and Complete.
These analytics can help you understand exactly how “mobile” your consumers are. The more mobile traffic you receive, the more urgent your need to adapt. You can also use these analytics to see whether mobile users are less engaging with your website than non-mobile users — a common occurrence for businesses that haven’t accounted for mobile traffic, as Live Person notes.
Build a Mobile Website and/or a Mobile App
When Bob Parsons founded website domain retailer GoDaddy.com, he envisioned a future in which private individuals and retail businesses would want and need an online presence. Today, we know that vision has come to fruition, but it has also evolved from what earlier tech leaders might have envisioned. Websites are an essential component of business, but mobile properties are creating a growing need for multiple websites– or at least, multiple versions of the same website.
Because the functionality of smartphones and tablets is so much different than that of traditional computers, a standard website can be difficult to navigate. As a result, many companies are recognizing the need to develop mobile-optimized websites that cater to touch navigation and smaller screens. Since mobile devices are so conducive to mobile apps, many companies are developing these properties as well — sometimes in conjunction with a mobile website, according to research from InfoWorld.
Solutions like WordPress are good for building a traditional website, but for mobile sites, consider software like Dreamweaver or Joomla, which offer mobile website templates. When considering these tools as means of increasing customer engagement, you need to determine how users typically interact with your company. A mobile website is a great asset when you’re fielding large amounts of traffic, but a mobile application can be used to improve shopping processes and create a more customized, user-friendly experience. You’ll need to understand your consumers’ shopping behaviors before deciding which is best for you.
Utilize Mobile Tools in New Ways
Creating a website that accounts for the mobile experience is one way to increase consumer engagement. Smartphones and tablets are outfitted with useful technology that isn’t available on traditional computers. As a result, businesses have access to new opportunities that previously never existed. To maximize engagement, these new outlets need to be seized upon.
One of the most significant new offerings is the location services offered on phones. Through mobile apps and other tools, businesses can target their consumer base according to their geographic location. Already, businesses have used this in varying ways: To deliver location-specific deals and sales offers, to improve local ad targeting, and even to help customers locate the closest business selling associated products.
Similarly, QR codes — which can be printed onto advertisements — can be scanned by smartphones to pull up rich media advertising like video and audio, as well as other interactive tools that increase engagement. This type of advertising can be very effective with in-store shoppers who are mobile users. There are solutions like SeeWhy and Google Enhanced Campaigns that can provide insights into specific campaign performance and opportunities for improvement. As Live Person notes, once businesses lay the groundwork for mobile properties, they need to research these opportunities and seek out creative ways to promote their products or services.
Create Mobile Options for Existing Engagement Channels
Developing new channels for customer engagement is one of the greatest opportunities available through the mobile realm, but companies shouldn’t overlook the way existing engagement channels can be improved. Customizing email campaigns to accommodate mobile email apps is an important consideration. In this regard, businesses should consider how social media can be integrated into their mobile properties — particularly mobile business apps. which can be promoted through links to other social media apps.
InfoWorld also suggests improving your customer service offerings with a new mobile channel, allowing customers to easily engage your business through their mobile devices. Service providers MailChimp and Constant Contact allow businesses to develop and manage their own mobile-friendly email campaigns. By viewing your current practices through a mobile lens, you can better serve and engage those mobile consumers while building toward a more promising future.