The top priority for many business owners in 2014 is to establish a mobile presence to satisfy the huge number of consumers who research and buy using their mobile devices. Australians are one of the highest users of mobiles in the world and the latest Australian Mobile Phone Lifestyle Index (AMPLI) survey results show the rise of mobile connectivity does not look like slowing any time soon.Key findings from the 2013 AMPLI report include:
Approximately 30% of respondents have decreased their in-store purchasing since they started buying on their mobile phones. Over half (56%) of the respondents stated that their in-store purchases had stayed the same, while 11% said their in-store purchases had increased. Almost 40% of respondents currently using their mobile phone for purchasing believe that the number of purchases they make on their phone will increase in the next 12 months. Only 5% of respondents said they think their purchases will decrease, with just over half believing their number of purchases will remain the same.
Just over 60% of respondents reported using their mobile phone to compare prices online (64%) and look at product or service reviews (67%) before making a purchase decision in the last 12 months. The majority of AMPLI survey respondents used a mix of apps and websites on their mobile phones. A very small proportion used apps only (4%) or websites only (8%). Most respondents indicated that they accessed websites by typing the URL directly into the browser on their phone (75%). However, 68% also clicked on links provided in search engine results and 48% clicked on links in text messages.
1.Get found by Search Engines
Google - To increase your mobile visibility make sure you put your business on the Google map so that customers can find you whenever they type your business name or relevant keyword (i.e. café, drycleaners) into Google. Go to Google’s Places for Business page and add the necessary information for your business beyond the basics of name, address and phone number. Provide as much detail as you can, such as opening hours, payment methods you accept, parking availability plus photos of your location and products. The more details you can provide, the more interest you will generate. You’ll also need to verify ownership of the business which will be via a postcard from Google containing a PIN number. Once that’s entered you’re up and visible.
Yelp - Adds visibility for your business both on the web and on mobiles while businesses listed on Yelp can track and respond to reviews, create deals and establish rapport with your customers. Go to the Yelp for Business Owners Page and claim your business. To do this, search for your company name on Yelp’s Find Your Business page and hit the ‘Claim’ button for your business name. If your company isn’t listed on the site you will have to create an account and complete the forms for your business.
Bing - is a similar service to Google places but you will need a Microsoft account to get listed. Go to BingPlaces.com.
Foursquare - A Foursquare listing enables customers to check-in to your location and to post their activities and experiences they have there. They can also leave comments and tips for other users. You will need to create a Foursquare account, starting by searching for your company name using the site’s business search tool. If your business isn’t listed you can go to https://foursquare.com/add-place. Click the ‘Claim Here’ button once you have found or created your listing and follow the steps to verify ownership. You can pay a one-off fee to verify your listing by phone, letting you manage your account immediately, or you can opt for the free postal verification, which can take up to a month before receiving your claim code.
2. Join Social Media Sites
Facebook - You will need to set up a business profile page, completely separate from your own personal account. Include Iots of good quality content about your business and photos from customers enjoying their experience or other positive feedback. Encourage people to Like your page by running competitions and offering Facebook only discounts or promotions. Joining other local business and community pages will also help increase your network.
Twitter - You can use Twitter in much the same way as Facebook, just an abridged version. Tweet on subjects that may interest your target markets. Thought provoking informational tweets are more likely to be re-tweeted.
Pinterest - Useful photo-sharing board which can help circulate images of your products, your store, team members, location or promotions.
3. Shopping Apps Partnerships
A consumer shopping via their mobile is looking for a good deal or product information. You could consider partnering with shopping apps so your store will appear on consumer’s mobile devices. There are a myriad of options such as Spreets, Groupon, Catch of the Day, Scoopon, Deals Direct, OzSale, Living Social, etc.
4. Optimising Your Site for Mobiles
You’ve done all this work to attract traffic and potential customers to your website, now you need to make sure shoppers aren’t greeted with a website that is difficult to view and negotiate on a mobile device. Having a ‘responsive’ website is critical so that mobile users can see your site in an easy to read and navigate format.