The Unforgiving Mobile Customer

Mobile commerce is expected to make up nearly half of all ecommerce by 2018.

Let that sink in for a minute. And then consider the number of stores that do not have any sort of mobile-optimized presence, let alone a high-quality mobile app and website. Perhaps you are one of these individuals? If so, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, your customers may not forgive you for it.

Recent trends indicate that customers are becoming way more discerning about their mobile experiences. For instance, a recent Kissmetrics survey showed that even a one second delay in mobile page load times can result in a 7% decrease in conversions. That same report goes on to indicate that 40% of customers will leave a mobile site if the page doesn’t load in three seconds flat.

If you are an ecommerce merchant, take a moment and load up your site. How long does it take to load? Remember, if it takes over three seconds you are losing nearly half of your potential customers right then and there.

Here’s the good news…there’s no reason to be freaked out! Well, if you don’t take any action I guess there is, but I digress. Just to get your started, realize that most modern ecommerce platforms enable you to check one box on your dashboard to get your mobile site. that is about as simple as it gets, folks, but it is a big step towards making sure your mobile audience continues to love you.

The next step? Get your mobile app. That’s because there are so many native features that allow you to engage with mobile customers that are outright unavailable without an app. There’s also the fact that even low-ball estimates indicate that one-third of customers prefer to engage with businesses through an app. This use to be pretty difficult, and frankly not worth the effort or money. The Apptive platform has changed that and now it is simple to get an app for a low monthly cost.

Your mobile audience will become increasingly important, so it is necessary to create strong relationships with them that will meet their needs. They may be more and more discerning in their mobile tastes, but the ability to engage with them is more accessible than ever before!

Black Friday Mobile Apps

bfriday

Black Friday is crazy. We all know this. The good news is that customers are turning to mobile shopping more than ever this Holiday season, meaning you can use a mobile app to alleviate some of their stress and net a healthy profit for your online store to boot. Here’s how to create an awesome mobile experience for your customers this year!

1. Catch the showroomers

One of the greatest annoyances of modern brick and mortar stores is the advent of “showrooming”, or having customers check out products in store then actually order them from a mobile device. If you are  purveyor of the types of items that customers would routinely want to see in person first, consider discounting them and sending a push notification so customers know that even if they visit a store in person the best way to buy the product is through your app!

2. Create follow-up experience

Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year, but the momentum continues for the rest of the Holidays. Promote your app on your website or store while the crowds reach a fever pitch on Black Friday so you can continue sending them deals and product updates. Having a massive user base will increase the value of your app dramatically, and will make it easy for customers to buy last-minute gifts to boot!

3. Offer mobile-exclusive promotions

Once you’ve encouraged customers to download your app, reward them by offering great deals through your app that they can’t find anywhere else. In general, its a good idea to avoid over-saturating customers with deals and specials. On Black Friday, anything goes! Send out hourly deals and great specials and your customers will love you for it amidst the frenzy of the day.

These general suggestions will get you on the way to creating an awesome experience over the Holidays. What are your plans for mobile sales this year?

Mobile App as Testing Ground

testground

Mobile apps give you a direct line to your customers, meaning they can serve as an excellent ground for testing innovative new ideas when you want an immediate response. We’ve put together a list of several ideas for tests you can perform with your mobile app to get immediate feedback for new products, business strategies, and beyond!

1. Branding – Because you can always edit the design of your mobile app it is possible to introduce new branding elements to a mobile audience first to gauge reaction and easily tweak before making them wide-scale.

2. Product Interest – Send a direct message to your fans with some basic info on a new product and link them to the pre-order or info page. You can get immediate feedback on the interest level your product generates.

3. Audience – As we’ve mentioned, a mobile audience is incredibly diverse. So, if you want to determine the type of services or products that appeal to your audience, or even if you want to get an idea of what percentage of your audience has an interest in a new direction your business is taking, a mobile app gives numerous direct opportunities for discovering that info.

4. Limited Release – Setting up a deal for a “limited time offer” of a new product and service on a recurring basis can let you know what customers are excited about. based on redemption, you can then turn a limited release into a full-fledged offering with the knowledge that there is significant demand for it!

5. Messaging – Some of the previous suggestions here involve sending a message to an audience, but what about testing alterations to the messaging itself? Trying out new communication styles, talking points, and focus can lead to fascinating new discoveries about your mobile customers.

We hope you find these suggestions useful. Try them out, and let us know what they reveal about your customers. Also, be sure to let us know any creative ways you’ve tested things through your mobile presence!

Color Considerations For Your App

Apptive developer Brandon Fairchild gives some great tips on color choices for your app, as well as why certain options are better than others.

By the way, here are the links he discusses in the video:

http://www.colorblender.com/

https://kuler.adobe.com/create/color-wheel/

Thanks for watching!

How Should You Use Push Notifications?

Watch as Apptive Co-founder Jason Jaynes answers a customer question about best practices for push notifications.

Do I Need a Mobile App if I Already Have a Mobile Site?

In our first video blog post, Apptive CEO Chris Belew discusses the benefits of a mobile app and a mobile website.

Core Mobile for Small Business

coremobile

The necessity of keen mobile strategy becomes more evident every day. As smartphone ownership and app usage continue to climb dramatically, businesses realize that mobile represents one of the few marketing platforms that presents the opportunity for both micro-targeted efforts and nearly universal appeal. All that being said, many businesses still have only a token presence on mobile, often represented by social interaction or a mobile-optimized website. These are great supplementary marketing avenues, but they are not enough. To become truly successful in the current climate, it is necessary to treat mobile as a primary marketing channel.

Of course, some companies have staked their reputation on mobile marketing. However, these are primarily enterprise-level businesses or tech companies. The reason for this is simple: small businesses treat any new potential investment with suspicion, particularly when it is as modern as the recent trend towards mobile engagement. Somewhat ironically, small businesses have the most to benefit from adopting a core mobile strategy.

Where big-brands can afford to increase top of mind awareness through traditional marketing efforts, they struggle to establish unique and personalized customer interactions. This key differentiator has always existed as a benefit for small business, but for the first time it is possible to furnish those personal relationships on a massive scale.

A mobile-first marketing approach gives small businesses the power to directly approach their customer base and thereby increase top-of-mind awareness without investing a ton of money. Rather, the mobile approach is one that allows the personality of the business to shine through the marketing clutter that consumers regularly encounter. A push notification coming through an app you have specifically downloaded to your device from a company you trust is always more effective than a spammy email.

Generalizations are dangerous, yet it is safe to say that the majority of small businesses would be wise to consider adopting mobile as their primary outreach method. Due to the mass numbers of customers with smartphones, the opportunity to create brand loyalty and mutually beneficial interactions through a mobile device, and the cost-effective nature of mobile marketing efforts businesses can greatly benefit from establishing a mobile presence.