Does your brick-and-mortar business offer products or services that would appeal to millennials? If so, you'll want to take full advantage of the mobile marketing opportunities available to you. Millennials are particularly receptive to mobile marketing messages. If you're not feeding their cravings for input through mobile channels, you're probably missing out on opportunities that would be win-win for both your business and your customers.
Perhaps you're unsure of all the strategies you could be using to optimize your mobile marketing. Perhaps you aren't even convinced that mobile marketing is something your brick-and-mortar business needs to worry about. Let's go over the basics of how a brick-and-mortar business can harness the power of mobile marketing to maximize branding and sales opportunities.
Why brick-and-mortar businesses cannot afford to ignore the mobile market
If all or most of your business takes place at your physical storefront rather than a website, you might be making the mistake of thinking that mobile marketing is irrelevant to your business. The truth is, it's becoming increasingly relevant with each passing day.
We're entering a phase where the mobile market is reaching maturity. In 2014, we saw mobile usage overtake desktop usage in popularity. As of December 2016, the average person will spend nearly three hours a day using their mobile phones.
What are people so busy doing on their phones for all those hours? Among other things, they're:
- Performing web-based internet searches to discover local businesses in their immediate geographic location.
- Using apps to consume information on topics of interest to them. For example, a new mother might use an app to locate reviews of popular baby strollers right before purchasing one. From there, she might decide to look for a local business that stocks the stroller she wants.
These amazing feats are possible thanks to the rise of global positioning systems (GPS) technology. GPS is one of the most significant innovations of all time. It is revolutionizing the way people navigate and make purchasing decisions. Now that mobile devices come equipped with both GPS and internet search capabilities, the technology is empowering mobile users to discover new eateries, stores and businesses more easily than ever before—even when visiting neighborhoods they've never been to.
Staff at the Pew Research organization found that 74 percent of smartphone users over the age of 18 are using location-based capabilities on their phones to get directions or find needed local information. Search queries that include the keyword phrase "near me" have exploded in popularity. According to Google, users are performing 88 percent of all those "near me" searches on mobile devices.
How your business could benefit from marketing via a mobile app
There are numerous reasons you might want to consider creating an app for your business. Apps open up a whole new frontier of marketing opportunities that you'd miss out on otherwise, including an expanded range of location-specific features.
There's nothing wrong with running ads in your local newspaper or mailing out flyers to prospective customers—however, these methods can be far less effective than their newer digital counterpart, known as "geofencing." With geofencing technology, you can send offers, coupons, sale notifications, or similar marketing messages to consumers who are approaching your store. This technology has the potential to completely revolutionize the effectiveness of your marketing.
Some marketers are taking the concept of location-based marketing even further. In addition to marketing to consumers near their own store locations, some businesses are now engaging in the practice of aggressively marketing to consumers who are approaching their competitors' stores. This practice is known as "geo-conquesting."
Apps aren't the only way to get your prospective customers' attention while they're using their mobile phones. Push notifications are another option that's popular with brick-and-mortar businesses. A push notification is a message that a business can mass-send to its users who have opted to receive them. For business owners, push notifications are appealing because they allow you to message your customer base even when your customers are not actively using your company's app.
According to a recent comScore survey, Millennials agree to accept push notification requests from their favorite apps at an astounding rate of 63 percent. The downside is that they may not open the notifications once they're sent. Open rate data from a variety of sources suggests that consumers only tend to open their push notifications about 10 percent of the time.
There's an art to writing push notifications that convert sales. While this type of messaging can be effective in certain circumstances, you have to be cautious in selecting the information you choose to push. Analysts at comScore discovered a high annoyance factor with push notifications, so this type of messaging should be used sparingly and carefully.
In-app messaging is a means to get the attention of your customers once they're actively using your app. These messages can be text-based, and they can also include images. There's no need to have your user base opt for in-app messages.
Having an app facilitates all these incredible marketing opportunities, but these are not the only benefits of creating a mobile app for your business. An app can also serve to increase your customer's level of engagement with your brand and reinvigorate brand loyalty.
Encourage mobile payments in your store
Innovative retailers are setting up in-store kiosks to allow mobile users to research products and then pay for them using their mobile devices. Enabling self-checkout apps paired with services like Android Pay and Apple Pay can make it intuitive and easy for mobile users to pay for their purchases. Check out the payments options available to Infusionsoft users.
Having a responsive website is one of the easiest ways to ensure customers can find your business. A well-optimized mobile marketing strategy should not ignore local SEO.
Learn more about the mobile marketing tools available to you
Now that you're empowered with a basic understanding of the technologies for optimizing your brick-and-mortar store's mobile marketing program, it's time to connect you with some of the tools you could use for making it happen:
- Infusionsoft is indispensable for organizing your sales and marketing efforts across all channels—mobile and others
- Foursquare is a leader in location awareness technologies
- Google Drive API facilitates push notifications
- Apple's iBeacon technology includes hardware and software for facilitating location awareness
- PulsateHQ offers geofencing technology for marketing to your mobile app users
If you haven't already developed a mobile marketing strategy for your business, now is a fantastic time to get started. If you have one but it's missing any of these ingredients, implementing these suggestions could help your business develop a deeper relationship with your customers and hopefully increase sales, engagement, and loyalty as a result.
Philip Piletic's primary focus is a fusion of technology, small business, and marketing. He is an editor, writer, marketing consultant, and guest author at several authority websites. He’d like to thank ResumeYard for their help with this article.