Build Your Mobile Strategy, Before It’s Too Late
“Mobile is so important; put your best people on mobile. If you don’t have a mobile strategy, you are no longer relevant” – Eric Schmidt, former CEO, Google
The stats are all around us: 73% of consumers say they have used their mobile phone in a store (Interactive Advertising Bureau, 2012), 64% of affluent app users say they view brands with mobile apps more favorably (Luxury Institute, 2012), and 85% of merchants say mobile commerce is a focus in 2012, up from 68% in 2011 (e-tailing Group, 2012).
A recent article from The Atlantic cites that the average American spends 94 minutes per day utilizing mobile apps vs. 72 minutes of web-based consumption, and that mobile will likely surpass television as the dominant consumer access point for all media. The trends are clear, and online merchants ignore them at their peril.
So, how to start? At the risk of sounding flip, how about the beginning? A successful entry to the mobile space means more than just building an app or mobile store. To truly please your customers and keep them coming back, you need to give them something of value and you need to have a strategy. Despite the droves of companies going mobile, few do so with a coherent mobile strategy in place. And as the saying goes, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.
To begin developing an effective mobile strategy, ask yourself some key questions:
- What is my current presence on mobile? Is it working? Am I measuring the results?
- What do I hope to gain by entering or expanding in the mobile space? Sales? Traffic? Brand presence? All of the above?
- Who is the audience for my mobile app or mobile website? Am I trying to gain a new audience? Provide another point of contact for my existing customers?
- Which phones and/or tablets are my customers using and how are they using them?
- What can I provide of value to my customers that can be delivered via mobile in a better way?
- If I am a multichannel merchant, how does my mobile strategy mesh with my offline strategy?
- What is my competition doing? (You don’t necessarily want to replicate what the competition is doing. But you do want to know where the bar is set.)
The data you collect about your customer via the web, marketing campaigns, and social media can help shape your mobile strategy. What content do your customers like to see? What types of experiences do they prefer? When you execute on your mobile strategy, continuing to collect this data and analytics on your new mobile efforts is critical. The more you know about how your customer interacts with your mobile initiatives, the better you can respond to and enhance their mobile experience.
Like most things in business, a well-thought out strategy will enhance your chances of success. Another thing you can count on – if you don’t meet your customers’ growing needs and expectations for mobile, someone else will.
Let’s start planning!