Everywhere you go, people you see are glued to their cell phones. It’s undeniable. As a society, we seem to be feeling the need to be more and more connected every day. It’s not uncommon to see a family sitting at a restaurant table, no one speaking but each one using some kind of cell phone. Smartphones are everywhere, and can be used for just about everything which is why mobile marketing should be included in your internet marketing strategy.
While sometimes it seems like these devices are a bad influence and/or a total time suck, they can be incredibly useful for many tasks. Personally, in addition to checking social networks and browsing the web, I use my iPhone for checking the weather, making to-do lists, watching TV, and online banking. Smartphones are just that – a smart way to stay organized.
A new way that many people are using their smartphones is to shop while shopping. According to a recent study conducted by Pew Internet and American life project and reported on by Mashable, many consumers use their smartphones to read product reviews, call someone for purchasing advice, or comparison shop, all while they are in an actual store. In fact, the study showed that 56% of young adults browsed product reviews before buying an item during the recent holiday season.
The study also showed that as many as 6 out of 10 shoppers that were surveyed used their phone while in a store. Many used a phone to call and talk over the potential purchase with a friend or family member. Some retailers also took advantage of the abundant use of smartphones during the holiday season, by allowing consumers to price match other stores and even some websites right from their phones. This alone shows why mobile marketing is crucial for your small business.
Amazon’s app actually entices smartphone users to compare in-store prices to their site by offering the ability to scan the barcode of an item. The price of the item on Amazon then pops up, allowing the smartphone user to decide whether they want to buy the item in store or on Amazon. I have used this app myself many times. It often does show that the online price is lower than the in store price. Then, it’s up to me to decide whether I would like to buy it immediately, or save a few dollars by waiting for Amazon to ship it to me.
Because smartphone use has become so widespread, all businesses are wise to incorporate the use of smartphones into their sales plan. Whether this is a mobile optimized website, QR codes for more information, or the ability to pay via smartphone, it’s important to make sure that your customers have an easy way to use their phones while shopping. I think it’s important for businesses, especially small businesses, to try to take advantage of this phenomenon rather than fight against it. By showing your customers that you care about the same things that they do, it will be easier to connect and make the all-important sale.