Mobile commerce is a force to be reckoned with. Christmas is over. But the lessons is brought are not. One of the biggest lessons for retailers in 2011 was that mobile is hot, hot, hot! The question you must ask yourself as a retailer is ARE YOU READY?
Here are the three things you need to do:
“1. Create a mobile opt-in database
Encouraging customers to register their mobile numbers is an important starting point. The easiest way to do this is to buy a keyword and shortcode through a mobile services provider. This creates an automated system where customers can text the keyword to the shortened mobile number (e.g. text CARD to 19954536) to register to your database.
To encourage registrations, it’s important to show an immediate benefit (e.g. 10% discount in store today) and to display the keyword and shortcode prominently in store, online, and in your existing marketing channels.
By creating a database, retailers can instantly begin targeting customers through SMS, a simple and cost effective way to begin mobile marketing. Research shows that 90% of SMS messages are opened within three minutes of being received, and 99% are opened overall.
These text messages can be used to deliver timely and relevant offers, encourage foot traffic and repeat customers. If used as part of a wider mobile strategy, they can also link through to dedicated mobile content such as store finder tools, exclusive offers, and/or mobile coupons.
2. Create a mobile website
Given the wide variety of mobile devices on the market, a mobile website can offer a much wider reach than a device specific app and can also be used effectively as part of a wider mobile strategy, for example as a landing page for an SMS campaign, allowing you to track clickthrough rates.
Thought should also be given to what content is more appealing to someone browsing via a mobile device rather than on a PC. Helping people check store locations or opening hours, promoting that day’s best buys, or encouraging opt-ins to an SMS service can all be more effective on mobile than your usual web content.
3. Create or enhance loyalty programs
Mobile communication delivers a higher response rate and therefore a significantly increased ROI from loyalty programs. It also allows retailers to accurately time the moment messages are read and which customers receive them, allowing offers to be highly targeted, interactive, and compelling. As a consumer, if I get a special offer for a complementary item to something I’ve already purchased, say insurance for a TV or boots to go with my jeans, I am going to be much more likely to convert on that purchase.
Mobile can be used to distribute coupons and loyalty cards, with unique codes that can be scanned at the point of purchase and their use tracked and evaluated. This can eliminate altogether the need for consumers to carry all those plastic loyalty cards. Also, by eliminating the need for expensive print and distribution, mobile loyalty campaigns can be much more cost effective and friendly to the environment.”
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I think that mobile commerce is a place where retailers can literally turbocharge their businesses if they know what they are doing. Do you have any questions about how to make mobile commerce work for you?
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