Mobile ecommerce is the big trend of our times and the numbers suggest that this is not a trend to be taken lightly. It is predicted that in 2013 1/3 of all searches will be via mobile phones. More people are expected to access the web from their mobile phones rather than their desktops in 2013 and they will be using it for making purchases. Online retailers will do well to note the rate at which this change is happening. For example there was 166% increase in the number of people who used mobile phones for shopping on Black Friday between 2011 and 2012. With this rapid rate of progression, it is not good strategy for retailers to merely create a mobile-friendly website and assume that you are all set for the mobile ecommerce explosion.
It is critical to acknowledge that mobile ecommerce is a different beast and to not fit it into the same mould as the rest of online commerce. While the values of an organization and the ground rules of a good marketing strategy should hold, it is important to avoid a one-size fits all approach to the mobile platform. Here are some of the things to keep in mind.
- Avoid the SMS spam trap: People think of texts as pertinent communication. Do not use SMS unless you have some time-sensitive promotion to offer which consumers can act-on or share with their friends. General advertising messages will be seen as spam and may well hurt your brand. An SMS will be great if you are giving away freebies but can be annoying if it is just a reminder of your company!
- Don’t forget that size matters: The mobile phone is a limited canvas in terms of size. See it as a challenge and make sure that your advertising and messages make the most of the limited screen space. Any message that is hard to read or needs a printer or further clicks for clarification is likely to be deleted. Keep is easy to view and simple to buy.
- Don’t be generic in your marketing: The mobile is a hand-held device that is uniquely personal and offers a great opportunity for truly targeted marketing. Use the data available about your consumers and make sure your message is customized. Everything from a consumer’s location to gender can be useful in making sure that you make a meaningful, loyal connection with each of your messages. Mobile ecommerce should be the epitome of personalized marketing.
- Don’t forget the search potential of the mobile device: Make your mobile-adapted website is searchable and think in terms of download speed in planning your mobile presence. This will allow you to reach new customers while they really need your information.
- Resist the temptation to reach all and sundry: Mobile marketing can have a far-flung reach. Unlike direct mail or television advertising, you can be fairly certain that you can get the attention span of your audience for a brief moment. However, the danger of casting your net wide is that much of your marketing will show no return, if you do not have a focused target market. Define your audience and keep your focus.
- Don’t ignore technology: Even with a focused audience, you’ll still need to find ways to keep your marketing costs down while reaching a large audience. There is new and emerging technology that allows you to send thousands of SMS at low costs. Make sure you keep abreast of the latest developments to make the most use of mobile technology as it can be critical in winning and retaining your clientele.
- Prioritize customer’s right to privacy: There is no over-stressing the need to always respect client privacy. You have access to client data and this should be treated as sacrosanct. Make sure that you have safe guards in place to ensure that client information is always treated as confidential. If there is any breach in this, there will be tremendous loss in terms of customers’ trust.
Written by: Shirley Tan