The State of the Mobile Economy – according to me: The Customer

Mental picture: You’ve worked hard to convince someone to walk into your business (physical or virtual). You’ve probably written a blog post or two, advertised online and/or offline, you may have even stood outside on a busy street corner in a chicken suit for all I know. The point is somehow you’ve convinced someone to walk into your place of business. Now comes the hard part.

Window shopping is something core downtown businesses have had to deal with since the window was invented. The web only exacerbated the issue and now mobile allows everyone to price shop with the product in their hand. This is a common problem for any retail establishment already but now mobile technology has expanded the concept of window shopping to restaurants, bars, coffee shops, muffler dealers, car lots, brands…everyone.

What are you doing to protect your efforts?

Spending the time to convince someone to walk in your business is a huge task but is only the first in an ever-increasingly challenged world of closing business especially to someone equipped with a smartphone. So how can mobile help your retail business close sales?

Start small

Use mobile technologies to start interacting with your customers! Seems simple but everyone has run to the app to try to reach their customer but that isn’t always the best place to start. What could you do today with someone else’s technology to reach your customer in the place they are standing? Why build something that forces you to split your awareness creating efforts between getting someone in the store or getting them to use your service? Be where they already are.

Don’t make customers wait – that’s when they change their mind

If 99% of transactions online are abandoned at the checkout why would we expect that be any different in physical stores? Why should your customers have to wait in a line to pay at a cashier? Empower your employees to take payment where the customer stands. If you’ve ever waited in line at an Indigo Book store close to Christmas you understand what I’m talking about.

Empower your employees

Notice someone scanning a barcode on their phone? Match the price immediately. Sweeten the deal. Have an employee monitoring all the major checkin platforms for people checking in to your store. Reach out to them and give them a deal they can’t refuse. Welcome them on the PA, bring them a drink for helping market your establishment. These are simple and VERY effective ways to use mobile interactions to bring that customer closer to a sale.

End small

Using mobile as another tool isn’t about big bets and huge budgets. A number of small, meaningful interactions at the start will engender even more loyalty with customers already entering your doors. Be where they are, help them make a decision and remove pricing friction – things that can be easily done from a mobile device.

Stop spending on projects that you want to do and build your mobile strategy into the way your customers are already using this tool.

About the author

Rob Woodbridge

I'm Rob, the founder of and I've spent 14 years immersed in the mobile and pervasive computing world. During this great time I've helped some of the most innovative companies grow their business through mobile. If you are in need of a mobile business advisor or coach, connect with me here to get things rolling.

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