Mobile Techniques To Better Engage Your Customers - Helping Small Businesses Thrive Mobile Techniques To Better Engage Your Customers - Helping Small Businesses Thrive

Mobile Techniques To Better Engage Your Customers

If you’re a business owner, you might believe that customers are browsing your company’s web site equally from both desktop and mobile devices. This makes sense, because at the office many of us still work on laptop and desktop computers.  However, Amazon reported last year that roughly 70 percent of holiday shoppers used mobile devices for their online purchases through the retail giant. This year promises to be the same.

Many consumers have given up on laptops almost entirely outside of the office, and even inside the office there is an increasing movement away from laptops and towards tablets and smartphones. Mobile devices have taken over.

Your company’s web site probably already is redesigned for mobile users; we can all thank Google and its insistence on mobile browsability for the push. But even if your website works on mobile, that doesn’t mean your online presence is fully optimized for your mobile customers; catering to mobile users requires a lot more than just having a website that fits on a tiny screen.

Here are four tips for better mobile customer engagement.

  1. Keep it Simple—and Fast

Mobile users are not just dealing with smaller screens, they also are often on the go when they browse online. Your mobile presence needs to take this into account. That means there should be an emphasis on speed and simplicity, one reason a lot of web site adaptive designs are relatively sparse and scroll-heavy.

Not all of these adaptive design website templates get it right, though; you can have a simple design that scales well for mobile, but you also need pages that load fast. That means taking great care what plugins and API calls your web sites use, and paying attention to the Javascript you use.

Less is more not only when it comes to design, but also in terms of the code that sits behind the web page. Think less is more since mobile users need to find things quickly and there’s less tolerance for pages that load slowly.

  1. Consider Click-to-Call

Not only do mobile users need web sites that load quickly and are easy to digest, they also want an easy way to connect with your business while on the go. One of the leading ways that businesses can make mobile customer care easier is through the use of click-to-call functionality.

Instead of mobile users having to hunt around for a phone number and then leave your web site to make a call, let them connect quickly and easily with click-to-call functionality that enables them to connect with customer service on the same page they are browsing.

Click-to-call works, too; roughly $1 trillion in annual sales is attributed to click-to-call functionality, according to Marchex. Google research has shown that 70 percent of mobile consumers take advantage of click-to-call when offered, and 61 percent of mobile users consider click-to-call the most important phase of the mobile shopping experience.

Cloud-based communications platforms such as Agora.io make it easy for you to embed click-to-call functionality on your mobile web site. With only a few lines of Javascript, your business can make it easier for customers to reach you with questions while on a mobile device.

  1. Offer a Treat

Browsing has moved to mobile, but many consumers still are reluctant about buying from a mobile device. One way you can overcome this reluctance and close the sale faster is by offering mobile-only incentives or coupons that get customers not only learning about your products and service while on a mobile device, but also buying from them.

Discount screens and instant coupons that pop up only when a customer is on mobile can help your business close the sale. Make sure that customers know that this is a mobile-only deal, too, so take that final step in the buying journey.

  1. Make Emails Mobile-Friendly

Every business knows that email is the bread and butter of marketing in 2016; more than 40 percent of recipients are inspired to buy based on promotional emails, according to a report by Convince & Convert.

Sadly, many businesses still fail to properly take mobile into account when developing their email marketing campaigns.

Email marketing campaigns should open fast and stick to single-column layouts. They should contain graphics, but not rely on them. Further, according to Adestra, they should be personalized; they found that mobile consumers are 22 percent more likely to be opened if the message is tailored to the customer.

So your web site may work on mobile. That’s a start. But it doesn’t mean that your business actually is ready for mobile customers. Failing to take mobile users seriously, however, is a huge mistake. The world now runs on mobile. So too should your business.

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Thank you to Peter Scott and JT Ripton for contributing to the SmartBiz Small Business Blog. Scott is a journalist and editor who has been covering business, technology and lifestyle trends for more than 20 years. You can contact him at PeterEditorial@gmail.com. Ripton is a freelance business and technology writer out of Tampa. He loves to write to inform, educate and provoke minds. Follow him on twitter @JTRipton

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