My twelve year old daughter pre-ordered an iPod 5 with her birthday money, and it arrived at our doorstep yesterday. Like a kid on Christmas morning, she’s been giddy; playing with it, exploring all of the available options. As a techie myself, I must say it’s a pretty amazing tool. As far as I can tell, it does everything an iPhone 5 does except for calling. And that is nearly not true, because you can Facetime (video call) and text while in a WiFi network. Smartphones and tablet computing devices are now the norm instead of the exception, and app is officially a word in the dictionary. Times are changing quickly.
As a retailer it’s critical to keep up with these changing times or be passed by the competition.
According to Information Week, the numbers continue to rise in the percentage of the population buying and using smartphones. “It says the total penetration of smartphones in the U.S. has reached 54.9%, with two-thirds of all new cell phones purchased being the ‘smart’ variety rather than feature or dumb phones.” Further, 44.6 million people in the US now own tablets such as iPads, Nooks and Kindles, according to MarketingLand.com.
Beyond the sheer number of device owners, more and more people are shopping online via their portable devices, and when they aren’t physically purhasing online, they’re “shopping around” on them because of their portability. (Source: Gigaom) Business Grow reports that “turning to a tablet or a smartphone has exploded 74% from 15.3% in 2010 to 26.6% in 2012.”
What does this mean for you, the business owner, and what are some action steps you can take to translate this usage into dollars for your business?
- At the very least, have a website with mobile viewing capability
- Consider selling online (vs. just allowing people to view products) to up the ante
- Use email marketing to offer various online specials and discounts
- Purchase a mobile marketing program that allows you to SMS (message) those customers who opt-in to your program
- Use Facebook to network, sell and promote. See tips below on ways to do this, including getting your staff involved
Facebook Tips and Tricks . . .
- Set up a Business page on Facebook and make a plan to post there on a regular basis – at the very least every few days, and ideally every single day
- Use your smartphone to take photos of your store, merchandise, staff, promotions and more, and post them to Facebook regularly
- Be personal (but not TOO personal) and “talk” to people on Facebook the way you would on the sales floor
- Get your staff involved! Many of your staff would be happy to post for your business Facebook page. It’s as simple as giving them Admin rights to do so. Allow someone to take the lead, and delegate to others so the page is regularly updated and monitored
- Run a contest or promotion just for Facebook. Check out Grey Suit Apps to learn about how you can unleash the power of Facebook for good for your business
Don’t let the competition outsell and outsmart you. Embrace the mobile era with open arms and allow it to contribute to the overall success of your business.
Contact Grey Suit Retail today to learn more and get started.