The Age of The Mobile Shopper
Conducting business has come a long way with the digital revolution. From the traditional print ads and flashy storefront displays, buying and selling has moved on from the streets to online retail and advertising. In a way, this has changed the rules of the game: back then you just needed to have a glossy boutique and the right buzz to generate huge sales. With the advent of mobile technology, a few changes have come about in the way we think about entrepreneurship and commerce. Here are some things that have changed—and some advice so you can use the changes to your advantage!
You can no longer ignore social networking—you need an online presence.
Back then, no one ever really thought that there was a point to having a site for your services—but as laptops and eventually smartphones became more affordable, ready access to wi-fi means that have a social media profile, such as a Facebook page or Instagram profile, is a great way to increase buzz about your store or business with people who may be interested in it, but just don’t know it exists. It’s also where some people direct their questions or suggestions, so having a social network profile is a must if you want to tap into customer needs and wants.
Mobile technology means free advertising—ditch print and go for online campaigns if your budget’s tight.
Though magazines and the daily newspapers are still very influential, mobile tech means that as long as you can regularly inform people of your deals and post interesting content, you can spread information about your product for a much lower cost. Videos are now an option without having to shell out big bucks for TV commercials, and photos can be as high-res as you want without having to fret about printing quality.
Word of mouth has just become that much more powerful because of mobile tech, so use it wisely.
Because mobile technology has made it easy to post or comment on the go about experiences, ranting or raving about a new product or service has never been more accessible—or more widely read. Before, if you got your hands on a great new item or enjoyed your restaurant visit, you told your friends in person. Now everyone can read or even hear via a video diary what you think of something—which can be a good or a bad thing for businesses. Ride the initial wave of interest, and be friendly to those who want to take photos using or wearing your product or availing of your business. Chances are, these will be posted online—and if they have a lot of followers or friends online, that increases your online audience. If your product or business is great, word of mouth will definitely spread and increase profits.
Consider offering discounts or promos through contests or deals with mobile app companies.
Popular apps like Looloo, Zalora and Zomato are great for both spreading the word about your product or business, as well as enticing more customers with great deals. Try holding a contest online, or give a discount to those who use a particular app by entering into a tie-up deal. You’ll be surprised at how many people will flock to your site and try out what you’re offering.
Low on funds for renting a space? Run your business from your house by having an online store!
Rent and utilities can require a lot of starting capital, and if you want to dip your toes into business, but don’t have the funds or are uncertain about renting out store space, why not opt to make an online store? Take pictures of your goods or what you do and let your customers send messages about what they’re choosing, require proof of payment, make timely responses and send things through couriers—this is all perfectly viable now thanks to mobile technology, and is especially prominent with the rise of the Instagram online stores, where more people than ever are window shopping even in the wee hours of the night or during lunch breaks.