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How To Adopt a Mobile-Centric Focus

By Monique Valeris for America's Backbone Weekly

According to the Pew Research Center, 64% of American adults are now connected with a smartphone. TechCrunch recently reported there are 2.6 billion smartphone subscriptions globally. These statistics show that as technology advances, so does mobile data usage. Mobile users are constantly in search of engaging content as well as services and products that enhance their lives. What does this mean for a retailer? It's crucial to be connected to your audience and be ready to fulfill their needs at the right time. Ask yourself these key questions to determine whether your business is mobile-optimized.

Is your website mobile-friendly?
There's nothing more frustrating than visiting a company website on a mobile device, only to find it's impossible to navigate. Your website needs to be responsive in order to be legible and easy to browse on a variety of devices. With responsive web design, text and images render well, pages are free of zooming and scrolling issues, and the checkout process is seamless. Use fonts and colors that are easy to read and consider a clean layout to provide the mobile shopper with an enjoyable experience. Speed is important here, especially when you think about the cost of data plans and the coverage issues consumers sometimes experience. Don't lose a customer because your website pages load too slowly.

How are you using social media to your advantage?
When social media is used effectively it can boost sales dramatically. While it's not necessary to be on every social media platform, some presence is certainly needed. Decide which networks make the most sense for your brand, and commit to posting frequently and interacting with your audience in creative ways. Don't be silent during weekends either. As consumers have more downtime on these off-days, your chances for making an impression are greater on weekends.

How can you include digital influencers in your marketing strategy?
Spend time pinpointing the social media/digital stars in your market and decide how they can help elevate your brand in an authentic way. Everything from sponsored blog posts to reader giveaways can be helpful marketing tactics. Before reaching out to an influencer, research their past business partnerships so your pitch is fresh and more likely to be accepted. Tapping into the expertise of digital influencers with strong followings on social media will broaden and deepen your exposure.


Can you be more app-savvy?
Is there a clever way to highlight your business on popular apps such as Instagram, Pinterest or Snapchat? Think outside the box when it comes to mobile apps that resonate with your audience. Whether it's a special video promotion or giveaway, the opportunities to promote your business using mobile are endless. Consider if it's worth investing in a retail-branded app: they're surprisingly easy to create these days.

Are you targeting your ads?
Researching how customers in specific locations utilize your services can offer insights on the most effective way to use location targeting for mobile advertisements. Your customers' needs can vary based on where they live, so personalization makes your marketing messages more relevant to them. And don't forget to consider the nature of the mobile device being used for your ads, as each has its own nuances.

Retailers today will miss out on an ever-increasing number of sales if they forego a mobile strategy. But focusing on an effective way to incorporate mobile technology into your business will make your consumers' lives easier, and bolster your brand's presence at the same time.

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