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Guest post: Mobile Commerce: What You Need To Know by Jessica Sanders

Mobile commerce: what you need to knowAs technology advances, companies are continually trying to find new ways to break into these new-age sectors. Social media has been on the rise for years now, and companies have slowly filtered in, making a presence within every major social networking site. However, now that 46% of the adult US population has a smart phone, businesses need to rethink their strategies. And so begins the growth of mobile commerce.

“There’s no longer a doubt as to whether or not mobile commerce will take off. The question now is how to make the most of the mcommerce opportunity.”
Mobile Commerce Daily

What Mobile Commerce Is

Mobile commerce is the buying and selling of products or services through a wireless device, predominantly a smart phone. A decade ago it was more than enough to have your products for sale online with a wish list, shopping cart and easy checkout. Those days are quickly coming to a close. With the introduction of new mobile platforms such as Android, Pantech, etc, businesses have to capture the attention of very distracted customers.

What Customers Want

In the car, waiting for a doctor’s appointment, everywhere you look people are looking down to the device in their hands and looking to purchase on the go. It’s your job, and in your best interest, to make this possible.

  • Be able to purchase on the spot. Our society is about instant gratification. When your customer sees the newest Steve Madden shoe, they want it right then and there.
  • Make mobile payments. When is your phone not in your hand? Customers want to check out with their phone.
  • Browse your products at any time. Shoppers want to buy no matter where they are. That means on their phone while they wait in line at the grocery store.

How to Get Involved

You know what your customers want, so give it to them. Many companies, such as Starbucks and Amazon, are making a splash in the mobile commerce world. Now, more than ever, it’s important to change with the times.

  • Mobile bar codes. Stores such as Toys R Us have taken to this new technology. Simply place a mobile bar code next to the product, whether it’s on an ad in a magazine or towering over the city on a Billboard. This gives your customers the opportunity to buy without having to find the product later or get to a store.
  • Product apps. While you may have your full product catalog online, give your customers access on their phone. By creating a mobile application that enables someone to browse, save to purchase later or buy now, you increase profit and keep your customers happy.
  • Mobile checkout. When it’s time to cash out, customers have to put down their phone, dig for their card, finish texting, put it back down to sign the receipt, and so on. To remedy this, take Starbucks’ lead. They have created an app that allows customers to cash out with a simple scan of the phone. Customers simply fund the Starbucks card with any major credit card, download the bar code and move swiftly out the door.  

Mobile commerce is about more than keeping up with our ever evolving society. It’s about pleasing customers before losing them to your competition. 2012 is the year of the customer. With so much technology at their fingertips, they are in the driver’s seat; yet it’s still you who has to steer them in the right direction.

Bio: Jessica Sanders is an avid small business writer touching on topics from social media to credit card processing. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including background checks for lead generation resource, Resource Nation.

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Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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