Smartphone penetration in the United States sits at 75 percent, creating an always-connected demographic, according to Marketing Land. Mobile's prevalence is throughout the shopping world, with many customers using smartphones as part of the purchasing process. The dependence on smartphones will keep growing as smartphone penetration continues, so it's important for your company to have its eye on the mobile customer experience.
Mobile Customer Touchpoints
Customers encounter many mobile touchpoints throughout their journey. Four out of five smartphone owners use their phones for local searches, such as "stores near me" or "restaurants near me," according to Google. These customers are looking for something specific on their searches, making them likely to convert when they find the information they need.
The initial mobile customer touchpoint is the most essential one, as customers may get frustrated if they don't find the information they want. Prominently display your business locations, product availability, store hours and contact information. If possible, tie-in directions through a map app such as Google Maps to give your customer step-by-step directions to get to you. Make it easy for your customer to visit your store, since no customer wants to jump through hoops when a simple search shows them a dozen competitors.
While a mobile-friendly website is a bare essential for your mobile customer touchpoint, it often doesn't deliver the experience customers need. Look into mobile-optimized solutions to put all the information customers need front and center. If customers can't quickly figure out whether you have a product in stock, they're going to look elsewhere to get their needs met.
Email is another touchpoint reaching mobile customers. Customers have constant access to email through their smartphones, making it likely that they see your message when they're out and about. Craft a message that speaks to their market segment, and make it easily readable. Mobile users check their phones when they get opportunities throughout the day, so scannable emails with visual appeal, bullet points and other attention-getters are essential.
Smartphones provide a wealth of real-time information for the customer experience with in-store tracking. Wi-Fi tracking and unique device identifiers are two ways of using smartphone data to understand customers' behavior when they're at a store location. The phones provide essential insight, such as what path customers take through the store, whether they easily get all the products they're looking for, the effectiveness of product placement and other retail optimization metrics. With unique device identifiers, this information can also tie into the rest of the customer relationship management or loyalty card program the store uses.
Benefits of Mobile Communication
Smartphones are a constant presence in many customers' lives, making it a convenient way to interact with your brand. You have many ways of getting messages through to the customer: through a mobile-optimized site, mobile advertising, local marketing, text and email. You have an immediate way of engaging with the customer, especially if you focus on channels your audience primarily visits through mobile devices. It's time to put your mobile marketing plan in place, because customers are going to increasingly expect communication on their terms.
Mobile communications provide valuable opportunities for improving the customer experience. When you spend the time to cater to the rapidly growing smartphone market, you develop an audience who knows you deliver a quality experience.