Is Your Retail Business Mobile Friendly?
Mobile technology is still shaping our world. There was a time when people could only find local businesses through print media (e.g. newspapers, books, etc.). Then came radio and TV stations, which both revolutionized how we marketed businesses. Today consumers have a faster and more reliable means of finding the information they want – the Internet. That’s why every retail business needs mobile friendly touchpoints for online ordering and attracting customers to their stores.
Consider the following findings by Think with Google.
- 83 percent of US consumers that visited a local store within a week report using search engines to find the business.
- 45 percent of consumers prefer to purchase online and then pick items up in-store.
- 55 percent of consumers used online video while shopping at a local store.
By now you can already see how imperative it is that your retail business becomes mobile accessible. We do almost everything from our mobile device. In this article, we’ll discuss various ways to become mobile friendly by leveraging your POS system.
1. Get a POS That Includes a Mobile Friendly Website
Do you currently have a website? If not, that’s where you should start. Your website has to be mobile-responsive and accessible from any Internet-enabled device. Modern POS systems typically allow you to integrate the software with your website. Some of them specifically work with a specific customizable eCommerce store system, while others provide the means to integrate any website.
For example, Revel Systems has a mobile-friendly store system that’s built to sync with its POS. The company also provides a solution for restaurants called ‘online ordering’. This lets foodservice businesses offer their menu online and collect desktop or mobile payment. On the other hand, Rain POS has an API (applications programming interface) that allows it to integrate with virtually any eCommerce store system. This is the best POS system for custom website integration.
With both POS mentioned in the example, your inventory will automatically update to match in-store activities and vice versa. Plus there are several other POS system features that work better when the POS and website are synced such as email marketing.
Whether customizing a site that’s part of your POS system features or building one from scratch, make sure the following are true.
The website is responsive. A responsive site auto-detects the user’s device and adjust its design or layout accordingly to look great. This is the best approach for mobile friendly websites to avoid any SEO (search engine optimization) issues. Specifically, concerning duplicate content or repeating the same text in several pages on your site.
The site loads quickly. In general, you have about five seconds before you lose a potential customer on mobile. A fast loading site can ensure consumers stick around long enough to view your products.
The site’s search function is accurate and easy to use. On mobile, the search function is the primary way people find products. Hence, it has to be visible or prominent on your site, easy to use, and precise.
The website uses infinite scrolling in key areas to improve user experience. Infinite scrolling refers to programming web pages to continuously load content as a user moves down the page. The most effective way of using this technique is to apply it on select pages where a consumer’s experience will be improved.
For example, applying an infinite scroll for website search results can be a great idea. Conversely, implementing it on specific product pages is not. This is because when a user visits a product’s page, they only want to learn about that item. And when it comes to search results, people generally appreciate not having to click ‘Next’ to see more.
2. Get on Facebook Local
Create a Facebook business page so you can appear on Facebook Local, a directory for businesses and events. Make sure you fill up all the basic information about your company to rank better on its search results.
Also, worth noting is that there are a few factors that affect what Facebook shows its users. These include:
- The local company’s star rating.
- The strength of the page’s connection to the searcher.
- The user’s location.
- And possibly others.
While a fairly significant number of people use Facebook Local, keep in mind that most consumers prefer search engines.
Also, some POS like Lightspeed will let you integrate your Facebook store with the system. The feature is called ‘Facebook commerce’ and is offered at no additional cost. Essentially, you can sell products to customers while they’re logged on to Facebook. You’ll also be able to accept PayPal, a widely used mobile payment by consumers. Though Lightspeed comes with an eCommerce site that can accept other mobile payment options like Mister Cash, Apple Pay, Android Pay, etc.
3. Paid Search
Retail businesses can invest in paid search to engage consumers while they’re building a website. Paid search is a great way to prominently appear for mobile searches. For example, your retail business can appear at the top of search results for terms like “skateboard shop” and many more queries (local or otherwise).
Focus on advertising your retail store with Google and/or Bing. These are the most used services by consumers and facilitate conversions with features like direction requests or click to call. However, you’ll probably get a lower average cost per click (CPC) on Bing than with Google since there’s normally fewer competing businesses on Bing. That being noted, big G has the highest market share for mobile and desktop searches.
4. Make Your Store Smart with Beacons
A beacon (or iBeacon) is a small modern device that retailers can use to interact with shoppers via their smartphones. They’re useful for upselling, customer retention, pushing sales, and sending other marketing communications. For example, your retail store can alert a previous customer that’s close by about the latest promotion you have running. This can entice the consumer to visit your store.
The customer has to install an app that’s compatible with the beacon to receive alerts. After that, your company can send out personalized messaging to consumers. Beacons have various use cases that benefit retail. Here are some examples.
- Beacons can be used to win back customers that shopped at your website but didn’t finish their transaction.
- You can target your competitor’s customers. Do this by setting the coverage area of your beacon to reach and communicate with people that are in a competitor’s store.
- Use beacons to send in-store product recommendations based on customer purchase history.
Beacons are great tools for making brick-and-mortar stores mobile friendly. Even Google and Apple already released beacon technology. These companies are using beacons to improve paid ads, location services, and shopper experiences.
5. Provide Digital Receipts
Imagine you just purchased that giant screen TV you’ve always wanted. Only to later discover that it doesn’t work. You know it has to be returned but realized that your receipt is missing. Definitely, not a good day.
Situations like the aforementioned happen more often than we’d like. Hence, it’s the first reason why offering your customers digital receipts is a great thing. However, you’ll need a POS that can email customers their receipts. Something like Lightspeed (discussed earlier), which is considered the best POS system by many, can email digital receipts to customers among other features.
The second reason is that it is good business. You need your customer’s email to send them a digital receipt, which creates email marketing opportunities. In fact, the majority of people use their smartphones to check email (71 percent according to a Google study). Just make sure you get permission to email your customers promotional content in the future.
Get Mobile Friendly Now
Retail companies must keep up with trends in mobile technology. Part of knowing your customer is understanding how they like to shop and online ordering is currently all the craze. Mobile is not going anywhere and will continue to be a major avenue of marketing businesses. Anyone can take their retail business online and ensure mobile accessibility with the right POS system features.
However, you can also start communicating and engaging consumers on mobile devices by using other means discussed here. Use either paid search, Facebook local, beacons, or offer digital receipts as a gateway to email marketing. That’s four awesome mobile friendly approaches to consider along with ensuring you have a website. Good luck.