Building a Mobile Storefront
Doing business in 2016 is a whirlwind for a lot of business owners. For the longer tenured businesses, you've likely seen the world update around you in rapid succession. You've seen the onset of the first computer, to having a computer in the (literal) palm of your hand for personal use. Technology has phased out a lot of old business models, but if you're still in business today, you were able to adapt to the times, and change for the better. The foresight that made your business successful in the first place is what will keep you humming along deep into the 2050s.
Now, we'd love to sit here and tell you that we have the secret to the next trend, but it would be the world's worst kept secret. You've likely heard this before (and at nauseum), but the mobile-market is the way of the present, and the future. Consumers are shopping and shopping en masse online. The mobile market accounts for 30% of total e-commerce in the US, and is growing continuously. Think of the last time you were looking to research a product, to compare prices or look at reviews; you likely reached for your phone or your tablet. The convenience of mobile commerce takes away one less barrier for a sale. Optimizing for mobile commerce can end up helping you close a lot of these sales cycles a lot quicker, and add to your bottom line. So where do you start?
1. Go with a Mobile Website, or an App
One of the easiest ways to get frustrated as a consumer is knowing that you want to want to buy a product online, but being unable to access any information about it or move towards a purchase. Having an unresponsive website means that you're preventing potential dollars from hitting your pocket because consumers are very tech savvy and will move on to a competitor no matter how strong your product is.
There are several ways to tackle this issue. A full scale website redesign can easily alleviate all of these issues, and all in one fell swoop. Even search engines are optimizing their search algorithms so that mobile-friendly sites appear first (among other factors) so shifting to a responsive web design can benefit you in more ways than just at face value. Another innovative way to get people buying into your product is to develop an app on mobile devices. App development is more work intensive and requires quite a bit of custom programming, but in the end is a direct link to your products and services and yields higher revenue per client. Regardless of your method, investing in mobile is vital to staying relevant in the market today.
2. Tidy Up Your Customer Experience on the Website
It's one thing to make your site look good, and it's entirely another to make it run well. Have you ever been on a website, and through the process of looking at one set of pliers, ended up clicking on a recommended hammer and then somehow ended up at a Thor Action figure? We've been there more times than we'd like to admit, but it's a common problem with commerce sites. Being able to navigate throughout the website with ease will help clean up the experience that customers have, and you can subtly lead them in the direction of a sale. Easy ways to test out your experience are to look at metrics like your bounce rate and your conversion rate. A high bounce rate indicates that people are leaving your site without taking any action; without looking around or buying. A low conversion rate means that they aren't as eager to pull to trigger on a sale. Keeping tabs on these metrics can help you improve your site experience, and ultimately drive more of your customers to an actual sale to bring you revenue.
3. Set Up Easy to Use Online Payment Options
Consumers are extra wary of where they use their credit card, and where they put their personal information because of the recent high profile string of data hacks where consumer information was compromised. If you want to create trustworthy transactions, set up safe and reliable payment options for online shoppers that are intuitive, and easy to use. Losing a customer because of a poor payment portal is one of most preventable losses your business can have. You've already brought a customer to all the way through your site when they reach the cart, and they are willing to buy, which is the most difficult part of the sales process. It would be such a lost opportunity if they abandoned because the payment portal was ineffective. If you're beyond that point, take your payment portal a step further by integrating the system with apps that already link credit cards or bank accounts to a customer, so that they avoid the cumbersome task of manually inputting their credit card information.
4. Don't Ignore The Desktop
Although we're seeing rapid growth in the mobile commerce sector, it still pales in comparison to desktop e-commerce sales. Although more customers are getting online via mobile devices, the conversion rates for mobile still lags behind that of desktop. It's important to have a "responsive" design set up so that a customer can transition between mobile and desktop when they are ready to make a purchase. As more people turn to their mobile devices to research, compare pricing, and read reviews, it still makes sense to invest in your mobile storefront, but equally as important is making sure that they make the eventual purchase to add to your bottom line. Understanding consumer trends will help you in this respect, knowing that a customer's first contact with your business will be via mobile device, and that they'll eventually seal the deal on a desktop at a later time.
5. Drive Customers to Your Online Store with SEO, PPC, and Social Media Marketing
Setting up shop online can seem like it's an easy first step, but if a store sets up online and no one is there to see it, does it make money? The answer, unfortunately, is no. Keep in mind when building a mobile storefront, you need to develop an cohesive strategy in the same way that works if you open up a brick and mortar location. Having a robust advertising strategy helps gets eyes to your products and services, and can work in ways that traditional advertising is limited. Targeted advertising, broadening geographic locations, and 24/7 marketing are all ways that digital advertising can out perform traditional advertising. Having additional touch points for a sale is always an easy way to gain more exposure, but just keeping your business top of mind during purchasing decisions makes it more likely that you can close on a sale. Having a strategy where you're being pushed up in search for particular keywords, along with paid advertising on Search engines and on social media platforms all works together so that you're getting the important leads you need to make an eventual sale. This effective way of marketing your mobile store front can help bring you a new stream of business that didn't exist before, and is easy to scale once you do find success.
So you might be intrigued by the prospect of starting to build your mobile store, but are hesitant about the cost, the time commitment, and the return on your investment. We'll help you develop a comprehensive strategy, and make the process as easy and quick as possible with our mobile-development solutions and reporting options. All of our newly designed websites are responsive, so we have the options and the capability to help you start your online shop.