Effective mobile e-commerce strategies for local buisnesses

In today’s buyer-centric marketing era, buyers are constantly seeking product knowledge, making enquiries and largely making purchase decisions based on the information available. Smartphones have further altered the consumer behavior by making this information available at the fingertips. Mobile e-commerce is a $100 billion industry, and 60% of online shoppers use smartphones to find a product (Source).

With the abundance of opportunities available for local businesses to manage how they interact with their consumers, here are the top 8 mobile commerce tactics that can take business outcomes up a notch.

1) Responsive Website Design

Your business website is a key touchpoint in how your business is perceived by customers. Ensure that you are offering mobile optimized website with beautiful user experience. This is vital because according to a survey, 88% of American shoppers have had negative user experience while shopping on their smartphones, and 30% of them vowed never to come back to such websites.

Your website should provide a seamless experience on every device. That means, no Flash, no pop-ups, display bigger CTA buttons (designed for fat fingers) and optimized for local search. Also responsive pages, easy navigation, a simple site structure will further improve the experience. If you provide online ordering, the checkout process should be simple: Shipping details > Payment > Confirmation will suffice.

2) Google My Business

Although traditional and local SEO go hand-in-hand, the key difference is in local SEO, wherein you optimize the website for a location. Google serves as the one-stop shop for searchers by providing them with the details of local businesses. So, make sure to claim your listing on Google My Business (GMB) and optimize your profile by filling in the key business information and photos. Also, encourage your customers to leave ratings on Google for your business. This will create a positive social proof in the minds of the searchers.

Keep in mind that GMB doesn’t replace the need of your website, but look at it as a gateway to your website.

3) Run Call-Only Campaigns in Google AdWords

Organic traffic is good, but if you truly want to amplify your reach, get gritty with Google AdWords.

For local businesses, phone calls are a huge source of leads. According to Google, 70% of mobile searchers call a business directly from search results. Google AdWords offers call-only campaigns exclusively for mobile devices that focus only on one CTA i.e. phone calls. This way you can justify the ROI because you are getting a phone call for every click on your ad.

4) Local Search Ads

Local search ads feature your business at the top of results when users search for nearby businesses on Google.com or Google Maps. You need to setup location extensions in Google AdWords to show local search ads. 

5) SMS Marketing Campaigns

90% of the text messages get read in the first 3 minutes upon receiving. In addition, SMS services are fast, they don’t require an internet connection and are cheaper compared to other paid avenues. All these traits make SMS marketing a strong element of your mobile commerce strategy. Use it to offer special discounts, run loyalty program, confirm orders, and provide customer support or to get customer feedback.

To run effective SMS marketing campaigns, always mention links or phone number as a CTA. Here is an example:

6) Mobile App

You can choose to up the ante by introducing a mobile app for your business. An app offers so much more than a website and will definitely give you a competitive edge. Mobile app will allow to promote exclusive offers, use geo-targeting to push location-specific offers, book appointments, mobile payments, notifications and provide prompt customer support. 

7) Push Notifications

If your business has got a mobile app then push notifications give you a new avenue to reach out to your users. Push notifications are a great engagement tactic and they don’t require the user to be in your app in order to receive them.

You can reactivate your inactive shoppers by sending them new offers, discounts, new product arrival, cart abandonment or simply “We miss you” messages. Here’s how QuizUp used push notifications in a quirky way:

8) Mobile Payments

The introduction of mobile payments has made wallets and credit/debit cards redundant. If you are a local business with an online store then mobile wallets are essential. Mobile payments are convenient and secure for buyers. There are plenty of services like Google Wallet, Apple Pay, MasterCard MasterPass, PayPal Mobile etc. available that make mobile payments easy.

For brick and mortar stores, businesses can set up QR code scanning to facilitate mobile payments. Here’s how PayTM offers QR code scanning for local businesses:

Wrap Up

Smartphones have become a part of our lifestyle. For local businesses, smartphones are the most personalized medium to connect with their customers.

These 8 tactics will give you a head-start in offering unique customer experience and build loyalty. Let us know how you go with implementing these tactics in the comments below!

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