Utilizing the World of Mobile Marketing: Models for a Mobile Presence
Once a retailer understands the importance of utilizing mobile markets for the purpose of increasing revenue, it is vitally important to plan how consumers will interact with a company’s mobile presence. There are a multitude of mobile devices that access and use the internet, but this is not to say that all devices or methods of interaction are the same. Instead, retailers need to carefully consider their audience and identify which approach will work best for them. With that limitation in mind, there are three general approaches for creating a mobile presence
- Allow customers to visit your current web-based site
- Offer a mobile optimized site
- Produce unique applications for mobile devices
Each of these choices have their own positive and negative sides, but the final choice can only be determined by how the company wants to interact with the consumer
1. Utilizing Current Web-based Content
Many companies begin their entrance into the mobile world through allowing mobile users to explore a pre-existing website. This option is viable for smaller to mid-range companies, and more specifically those that have few photos or videos. This option is usually the most cost effective because there is little generation of new content and the company merely needs to make it mobile accessible.
The problems for reusing old content arise when one considers what the mobile experience is like. Many people expect websites on their mobile device to load as quickly on their phone as on their personal computer, regardless of the mobile’s specifications. This can cause a problem for
many users because websites are not made with the mobile experience in mind
Should a company decide to go this route, there are a few things that can help. First and foremost, keep the website simple. This means use fewer images, less rich media, and keep the text conservative. Every letter should count. Try to use a single web host, as this will minimize the number of connections that the users’ phone has to maintain. This will make it more likely that people with smaller devices will still be able to access some of your company’s content.
2. Offer a Mobile-Optimized Site
Once retailers start to expand into the mobile market, many decide that simply reusing their websites does not achieve the desired goals. Mobile-optimized websites are a great next choice, particularly because they are relatively cost effective. Few additional skills need to be learned and employed, and this sort of site allows consumers a more intimate connection with the company.
Even with a low price tag, a number of simple mobile sites can be designed so that any type of phone will be able to access them with the utmost speed and simplicity. This increases the quality of a customer’s experience, inclining them to continue using the company’s site. The general rule is to keep the consumer in mind: a mobile device does not necessarily need all of the information that a web-based site does. Offering only the top 10 features and minimizing excessive content is the best bet. Should the customers was additional information they will know exactly where to go upon returning to their computers-straight to the company’s website.
3. Employing Applications for Mobile Devices
While having direct access to a company’s website is convenient, an even more direct line to the consumer is a better option. Offering special applications for individual’s mobile devices allows for the consumer and company to be in communication with each other for the benefit of both. Using special features within mobile applications, like geo-locations and point-of-sale coupons, mobile applications prove to be especially innovative and highly convenient.
The downside to these applications is that they tend to be fairly expensive because of the multiple versions that need to be created for the wide variety of phones. A developer also cannot assume that just because an application is created that consumers will utilize it. Finally, because customers are used to a quick load time online, any application that is slow because of software issues or a lousy mobile connection can suffer from lack of popularity.
There are things that the mobile retailer can do to ensure the best mobile app experience possible. The first step is to make sure that downloading the application is as easy as possible. This will not only increase adoption rates, but it will also decrease the likelihood of complaints and poor reviews. A painless download encourages happy customers. Another good idea is to make the application as web accessible as possible. This means that while you want to have a mobile presence as dominant as possible, make sure that all web users are aware of the application, and maybe even able to use it from their computers. Many platforms and operating systems are available for app development, and the more flexibility an application has, the greater chances there are of success.
With the mobile market on the rise, there is no completely right way for a retailer to make their presence known on in the mobile market place. However, there are a variety of options to choose from to suit any company’s needs, and more importantly the needs of the consumers. By making sure that mobile loading times are as short as possible and site or applications easy to use, any retailer can increase their chances of success in the mobile market. With a keen eye on the needs of consumers and an avid awareness of trends in mobile commerce, any company can see an increase in the success of their mobile marketing and commercial campaigns