You see people on their smartphones all the time. A lot of the time they’re playing games. Other times, they’re checking their email. At least some of the time though, they’re buying things – possibly even buying the kind of things you sell.
At this point, every online business has to care about mobile shoppers. Almost a third of all the shopping people do online is done on mobile devices. And people on mobile devices are more likely to take action on your website – 70% of mobile searches lead to consumers taking action.
You have to expect that a good portion of your potential customers will be interacting with your brand on a mobile device. If you haven’t done so yet, it’s time to develop a strategy for meeting them where they are.
[bctt tweet=”1/3 of all online shopping is done on mobile devices. Prepare your website for #BlackFriday!” username=”hostgator”]
How Businesses Can Benefit from the Shift to Mobile
The rise of mobile shopping may have felt like an inconvenience at first. Every time consumer behavior changes it means businesses have to put more work into adapting. Change doesn’t have to be negative though.
You can choose to treat the growth in mobile usage as an opportunity. Here’s how.
1. Create a mobile-friendly website.
If people come to your website on a mobile device and it’s slow to load or offers an unintuitive experience, they will leave. That 70% of mobile visitors who are primed to take action will take their action on a competitor’s website instead. So stop dragging your feet and get it done.
[bctt tweet=”Nearly 25% of #smallbusiness websites still aren’t mobile-friendly. Is yours one of them?” username=”hostgator”]
2. Regularly test your website on different devices.
When was the last time you pulled up your website on your phone or tablet? If you only ever interact with it yourself on a desktop, then you’re not seeing what many of your customers see.
Right now, pull out your own mobile device and bring up your website on it. Think about the different steps a typical customer is likely to take on your site and see what it feels like to do them yourself on your phone or tablet. Make a test purchase to see what the full process of buying something on your website on mobile is like. At each step, pay attention to anything about the experience that’s difficult or inconvenient.
Your device is just one of the many types of mobile devices out there, so talk to your employees or other people you know with different types and ask them to do some testing for you, or see if you can borrow their device to do it yourself. Try out different popular browsers on the mobile devices as well so you can simulate as many of the different mobile experiences your visitors will have as possible.
Take plenty of notes as you go so you know exactly what needs to change to provide your customers with a better mobile experience.
3. Create mobile-specific versions of your personas.
Marketing personas are an important tool for understanding your audience better and making sure you keep them top of mind as you develop your marketing strategy and content. Now that you know much of your audience is on a mobile device, you need to extend the persona exercise to better understand how your visitors are likely to use their devices.
Just as you would when creating any persona, you need to think carefully about who your audience is and their habits, preferences, and needs – only this time, focus specifically on how they use mobile devices.
This shouldn’t be a pure thought exercise. A number of tools are available to help marketers better understand their audience, and you can also use the data that Google Analytics provides on mobile use. Mobile personas are only useful if they’re based on reality, so make sure you do the work of finding out how your customers really behave.
4. Make use of location-based marketing.
If your business is entirely online, then this tip won’t have relevance for you. If you have a storefront though, then location-based marketing on mobile can really pay off.
The possibility of providing prospects with the right marketing message at precisely the right moment has always been the dream, but location-based marketing puts the possibility within reach in a way it never was before. You can push out an offer or CTA (call-to-action) to your audience when you know they’re within a close range of your store – right when it’s most convenient for them to take advantage of it.
72% of consumers have said they’re likely to respond to a CTA they see while within view of the store. That’s an opportunity too good to pass up.
[bctt tweet=”Location-based #marketing: 72% of consumers are likely to respond to CTA when they’re nearby.” username=”hostgator”]
5. Consider if a mobile app is right for you.
Mobile apps are expensive to develop and they’re not for everybody. Most mobile users only turn to a few key apps each day, so the cost of development likely won’t pay off unless you have the kind of website that customers treat as a common go-to when they use the web.
If you do have the kind of repeat customers that would appreciate the convenience of being able to skip the browser for a faster and easier mobile experience, then building a mobile app could be a smart move.
6. Pay attention to mobile metrics.
Whatever types of mobile marketing you pursue, you should monitor your progress as you go. As with the other types of marketing you do, establish key metrics you want to follow and pay attention to how well your results match up with your goals.
The longer you pursue mobile marketing, the more data you’ll collect that helps you understand how your users behave and what types of tactics work best. That data will make it possible to continually change up your mobile marketing plan to achieve better results.
Mobile shoppers aren’t some niche audience of outliers. They’re almost everybody. And the people who aren’t actively using their mobile devices for shopping today are likely to start in the months and years to come. If you don’t cater to the massive and growing mobile audience, their business will go to the companies that do. To keep from losing business that should be yours, treat mobile users as a priority in your marketing efforts and business plan.
Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based freelance content writer and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to learn new things. She uses that curiosity, combined with her experience as a freelance business owner, to write about subjects valuable to small business owners on the HostGator blog. You can find her on Twitter at @atxcopywriter.