As mobile continues to outshine PCs in the content delivery market, it's important to be aware that if you're not ready for mobile, you're missing out on the potential revenue that mobile can bring. Mobile marketing goes far beyond the ability for your prospects to easily navigate your website on their smartphones. And it's not just about text message marketing either.
Today, on of the largest growing sectors of mobile marketing is based on your ability to market to those within a nearby proximity of your business. More on that in a moment. First, let's have a look at the essentials of a mobile -ready business strategy:
Understand What Mobile Means
Any portable device constitutes mobile. It's important to realize the difference between “optimized for” or “accessible to” mobile. You don't need to be optimized for mobile to be available and usable on mobile devices. You just need to be accessible for mobile. Think of mobile as simply a new tool to view your content and offerings, not a whole new environment.
But, as I said earlier, it's not simply about having a website looking great on phones. It's about leveraging the way consumers use their phones and tablets… and tapping into opportunities to communicate with them better. Which brings us to…
In the past few years, we’ve seen the emergence of beacon technology. If you don't know that that is, you soon will.
Basically, a business will place a beacon device in their location, and when potential customers walk or drive by their location they will receive notifications to their mobile devices. The key with beacon technology is the location (or proximity) aspect. Businesses that are in the position to take advantage of nearby foot traffic can utilize beacons to their advantage.
Statistics have shown that as many as 84% of shoppers use their smartphones to help them shop while in or near a brick and mortar store. That alone should help you understand why businesses are jumping on the beacon proximity marketing bandwagon to help drive more business. If so many shoppers are using their mobile devices while shopping, why not take advantage of that by offering coupons and promotions directly to their mobile device?
Multiple research studies have identified the importance of businesses using beacon technology (which we'll discuss in a moment). But it's worth pointing out that a great many large retailers and other Fortune 500 companies have been using beacon technology for some time, while smaller businesses are just coming on board.
You don't see a lot of your favorite mom and pop stores, art shops, or local coffeehouse sending mobile messages. A lot of the reason might be attributed to the cost of such mobile marketing tactics as most businesses don't have the budget to create their own mobile app. It also might be that they feel they can simply market their business via social media. In any case, there are alternatives out there where small companies can take advantage of this quickly growing trend. Let's have a look at the top 3 reasons why this effective marketing tool ought to be used by small businesses looking to increase in-store traffic:
The Rise of Mobile Shopping
The main reason why beacon technology is being used more often is that it’s playing right into the hands of current customers… literally. Consumers use their mobile phones for just about everything now, especially shopping. Just have a look at some recent statistics:
• Mobile devices will account for 30% of global retail commerce spending by 2018.
• 75% of mobile consumers have redeemed a coupon from their mobile device.
• Nearly 50% of customers are more inclined to make a purchase when mobile offers are part of the decision.
• 70% of consumers found all types of push notifications and location-based messages to be valuable.
• Nearly 50% of consumers want mobile offers on their devices when they pass by a store.
That last point really drives home the power of embracing beacon technology for marketing your business to consumers. If 50% of consumers who walk by your store want an offer from you, why not give it to them? Use beacon technology to send customers exclusive offers, special promotions, or tell them about upcoming sales or events.
Connect with Customers Directly
We mentioned earlier that 84% of customers use their smartphone while shopping, proving that one of the best ways for businesses to get in front of clients is through their mobile device. Let’s look at a few more impactful statistics that help show how consumers are going mobile.
• 125 million U.S. shoppers use smartphones
• 10 billion mobile devices are currently in use worldwide.
• Americans spend nearly 5 hours a day on their phone.
These statistics continue to prove that marketing to customers’ mobile devices is both smart and efficient. We’ve told you that 75% of mobile shoppers have redeemed mobile coupons and how they like it when companies offer mobile deals and coupons, so clearly these customers enjoy the convenience and ease of shopping on their smartphone. So for all the small businesses using social media or spending money on printing in-store posters or creating direct mail, if you want to make sure customers see a new offer, promotion or product, take your chances using beacon technology and start seeing instant results.
Enhanced Customer Experience
When managing any business, the customer is your #1 priority. You need to listen to their wants and adapt your marketing strategy to what they’re looking for. If you take away anything from all the statistics and information we’ve talked out, you need to remember that customers love using their mobile devices. From texting to shopping, they use it for everything. That’s why businesses need to make it as easy as possible for customers to receive deals and any relevant information from their business. With beacon technology, you can do just that. You can send instant notifications of any relevant information directly to a customers’ mobile device when they are near your location. The customer doesn’t have to do anything, they simply are doing what they normally do; looking at their phone for somewhere to go or something to buy and then when they reach a certain location, they will get a message promoting an exclusive offer or new item that they are interested in. It doesn’t get any better if you’re the customer, you just take out your smartphone or tablet and waiting for you is a message with the information you need from your favorite store.
As you can see, there are many advantages to using beacon technology to market your small business to customers directly. The only question left to ask if you’re a small business owner, “if you aren’t using beacon technology to market your business, what are you waiting for?”