As smartphone use continues to grow, consumers are becoming increasingly proficient at using their devices to shop. In fact, mobile sales accounted for 29 percent of all online sales during the 2013 holiday season, according to IBM. Small business owners are realizing that they have to be where their customers are: on mobile. Here are five more tips from an informal survey of small businesses for leveraging mobile to increase both customer loyalty and sales.
1. Use Traditional Tools on Social Media
Studies show that 35 percent of Facebook fans will “like” a page to participate in contests, and 42 percent will “like” a page to get a coupon or discount, so consider using those tools. Detailed analytics tools from social media sites provide low-cost, valuable measurement data for small businesses.
2. Regularly Engage With Customers
With so many online sellers, failure to communicate in a timely manner means lost sales when consumers simply go on to the next site. Creating a survey, asking questions of customers and writing personal emails help the customer feel appreciated. And if a customer indicates interest in your product, follow up immediately with a coupon or special offer.
3. Employ Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing, partnering with similar sites so each business’s recommendations or suggestions drive people to the affiliated site, can be particularly cost effective when businesses set up the arrangement so they only pay when the customer makes a purchase.
4. Take Advantage of Location-based Services
Little-to-no-cost services such as Yelp, Groupon, LivingSocial and Foursquare offer coupons and deals based on the user’s location and drive traffic to your website, blog or brick-and-mortar location.
5. Try QR Codes
QR codes are another engaging and easy way to attract mobile customers. The customer uses a smartphone app to scan a QR code, which then links to a website. Sellers need to make the link informative and fun so customers will want to share it.
You don’t have to be a big company to get big results with mobile marketing tools. These innovative, yet cost-effective ideas are proving that point for many small businesses today.