Businesses come in all shapes and sizes. If yours primarily caters to walk-in customers, you may think that the mobile phone shopping revolution isn’t important. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Mobile Revolution
First, let’s look at how customers are using their tablets and cell phones when it comes to purchasing goods and services. With just a few clicks, they can search the local area for the specific products they want. What’s more, they can learn who is selling them and which dealer has the lowest prices. Finally, they can quickly access customer reviews that can heavily influence whether they buy locally or online. All of this can be done on the go from the devices they carry with them all the time.
The Power of Search
Think about this: In the past year alone, mobile phone searches have increased by 120 percent. That translates into a rapidly expanding group of potential customers who may have never walked past your store or seen your old-school ads but might still come in and purchase your products thanks to their iPhones or Androids.
Take it from Target, a retail mega-giant that has recently discovered that a whopping 75 percent of its customers look first at their mobile phones before taking the trip to the store. You could be part of this revolution as well.
When a customer types “near me” into a mobile phone Google search, he or she will be rewarded with results in the immediate area. For brick-and-mortar stores, this is the passport to growth and success. Research shows that about 50 percent of customers who conduct a local search will end up visiting a brick-and-mortar store within a day. It turns out that a full 18 percent of those people will ultimately make in-store purchases. The chances are even higher if you buy local inventory ads, which let consumers know whether you have specific items in stock.
The Power of Text Messages and Email
You may not even be aware of how the point-of-sale system you already have in place could help you to attract customers and incentivize the ones you already have. Talk to your merchant card services provider to learn if your system is equipped with customer loyalty and database capabilities. If it is, you can easily build an ever-growing list of patrons.
Once your database is up and running, you can use it to send out newsletters and blast out emails with information about flash sales and special discounts for your best patrons. Consumers will receive all of your communications on their mobile phones and tablets and will be highly motivated to visit your physical store to make a purchase.
You don’t need to be an e-commerce magnate to profit from the mobile revolution. Spend some time making yourself accessible to cell phones and tablets, and your hard work will soon be translated into more foot traffic into your store. Once they get there, the rest is up to you.