The mobile strategy has become pivotal in every small or large company’s marketing mix. A study done by the e-commerce software company Demandware showed that in the first quarter of 2016, mobile was responsible for 45.1% of online shopping traffic, edging out desktop traffic which accounted for less than 45% of web shoppers in the same period. As the number of mobile users grows by the day, it is expected that by the end of 2017, mobile will account for more than 60% of global e-commerce traffic.
Online shopping is projected to evolve into a mobile-only space in the near future. This is not surprising as 77% of Americans own smartphones, according to a Pew Research Center survey on smartphone use in the US.
Besides the obvious increase in the number of smartphone users globally, there are many other reasons why small businesses need to focus more on mobile marketing strategies. For instance, a mobile-first strategy enables a company to market to specific groups or demographics. Joe Tantillo, the CEO of GreekGear, a company that sells tote bags and clothing labelled with college fraternity and sorority logos, says that half of the company’s online traffic comes from mobile devices. Many of the customers are college students who’d rather pick an item and go than spend time browsing through all the merchandise categories. Around a third of mobile traffic coming to GreekGear results in sales. As Joe Tantillo says, “If they are coming to us this way, then (mobile) needs to be our top priority.”
Here are five more reasons why small businesses need to pay greater attention to mobile marketing strategies in 2017:
The rise of mobile search
Trillions of Google searches take place every month. Over half of these searches are done on smartphones and tablets. Websites that use Google Analytics claim that over half of all their visitors use mobile devices. These ever-increasing mobile searches can be attributed to the fact that most business owners have discovered the value of building responsive websites.
Nowadays, consumers, especially younger people, are relying more on their mobile devices to search for information, products, and services. The phone is always close at hand anytime, anywhere. Digital marketing experts say that mobile marketing has reached a point where it is no longer optional but mandatory for the growth of a business. Gene Alvarez, an analyst with Gartner Technology Research, maintains that every company’s investment in growth should focus on the mobile market. Dominating local and global mobile searches should be a major priority for small businesses.
Mobile apps increase engagement
A recent poll conducted by Gallup indicated that 72% of Americans consult their phones at least once every hour. Up to 90% of the time is spent on mobile apps. If your business does not have a mobile app, then you really need to up your game.
Mobile apps increase engagement with your existing and potential customers. Apps make it possible to get customer data and feedback. They provide a quicker and easier way to connect with your audience. Apps are inexpensive to develop too. They can help even the smallest business grow its brand awareness and attract more customers.
An example of a company using apps to grow its business is Giftagram. The company allows customers to buy and send gifts to loved ones and is only accessible via its mobile app. According to the Toronto-based company’s CEO, Jason Reid, Giftagram began as a startup with minimal resources but has seen immense growth by focusing on where growth is – the mobile platform. Customers are attracted to Giftagram app which makes it easy to send a gift. You only need to choose a gift and the recipient will receive a notification via email or text.
“The simplicity of using a mobile app can never be replicated on a desktop or laptop,” says Jason Reid.
The ease of mobile payments
Consumers are now finding mobile payment options to be easier and more convenient. It is, therefore, important to ensure that your business can accept mobile payments for goods and services. You can insert buy buttons on different platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and even YouTube.
Mobile payment options on social media make it easier for customers to complete the purchasing process. Customers can purchase directly from their Facebook news feed without having to be taken to another site to process the payment. Consumers don’t have to go through multiple steps to complete a purchase which helps to reduce distractions and hesitation. Mobile payment options could potentially increase your sales.
Rising popularity of mobile-only social media platforms
We’ve come to a point where businesses can no longer afford to ignore social platforms. The rising popularity of mobile-only social platforms such as Periscope, Instagram, and Snapchat has made it mandatory to include mobile strategies in your marketing mix.
It is, however, important to monitor your social channels consistently and ensure that you post in-the-moment videos and images that clearly reflect your brand or business experience. By connecting with the Snapchat generation followers in mobile-only social platforms, you’ll be building a team of highly engaged advocates for your products and services.
Mobile consumer research
While mobile plays an important role in e-commerce where consumers use their devices to shop, mobile also provides a good platform for consumers to research further on your company and its products or services. A majority of online buyers search for reviews and testimonials before making a purchasing decision.
Lighting New York, a Manhattan-based enterprise, started its mobile marketing strategy 4 years ago. According to Aaron Covaleski, Lighting New York’s online search marketing director, the company currently gets close to 40% of its visitors from mobile devices. The visitors don’t buy lighting products from their smartphones but use the phone to research before visiting the store. “The mobile strategy helps introduce people to us,” says Covaleski.
Trends in marketing come and go but as a small business owner, you need to embrace mobile marketing and capitalise on growth. Mobile is on an unstoppable rise so make sure that your brand or business is well supported or you might be left behind.