This post is part of our 2017 Holiday Planning series. Read the entire series here on the Clover blog, and check back for more tips and tactics.
Consumer behavior watchers predicting that buyers would move to mobile en masse.
Today, it’s safe to say that consumers have shifted. People now spend more time consuming digital media on their phones than on their desktops.
Unfortunately, too many small business owners are operating steps behind this trend: 46% of small businesses don’t even have a website, let alone a mobile strategy. Consumers have a lot of buying options these days. They can get almost anything from Amazon and have it delivered within hours. If they want something more unique and handcrafted, Etsy has an app.
But you don’t have to be Amazon or Etsy to build a mobile presence and capture customers that like to shop with their phones. The technology required to get you into consumers’ pockets is getting cheaper and more user-friendly every day. With this in mind, here are five things you can do to build your business’s mobile presence:
Create an ecommerce store.
Consumers now make the majority of their purchases online, according to a recent survey by UPS. Only one in five purchases is currently made without using the internet at all.
The good news for small businesses is that setting up an online store can be cost effective and so simple that merchants can set them up all on their own, including importing products from their point-of-sale system into the store, setting up payments, and setting up shipping. For example, Clover Online enables small businesses to set up an ecommerce site that will look good on a desktop or a smartphone .
Create a mobile loyalty program.
A loyalty program can be an effective way to solidify relationships with newer customers, and a way to reward your best customers and give them incentives to keep coming back to your store.
Over the holidays, small businesses should consider two possibilities for using loyalty to get more revenue: launch your loyalty program before Thanksgiving so that you’re more likely to be considered for holiday shopping by loyalty members, or launch your loyalty program during the holiday so that shoppers have a reason to come back in January, when the giving season is over. Of course, merchants can layer both tactics to encourage shopping both during and after the holidays. Even a quick-serve business that doesn’t have much time to spend with each customer can build loyalty—and engage customers on their phones—with a system like this.
Make cash mobile
The Clover app CoinOut allows customers who pay with cash to choose to take their change virtually, saving it to a unique account, instead of going home with pockets full of nickels and dimes. Customers can manage their accounts from their phones. They can transfer their change to a bank account—or you can encourage them to save it up and turn it into a gift card, or donate it to a charity. A special charity appeal at the cash register could publicize the app and burnish your image with your best customers.
Use push notifications to drive foot traffic
Remember, consumers now make 38% of their purchases using a combination of in-person and online browsing and shopping. You can take advantage of this trend by pushing promotions, one-day deals, and other notifications to your customers’ phones in real-time. If you catch their attention while they’re out and about, running errands or checking Facebook on their lunch breaks, they may be more likely to stop by your store.
Macy’s and other major retailers have used social media campaigns to draw customers into their stores. There are a number of ways to get your customers to make your mobile marketing content for you. You could ask customers to post pictures of their office holiday parties featuring your special seasonal cookies, or have Santa make an appearance at your store to encourage people to share their pictures and wish lists. Reposting customer content with a link to your online store can create opportunities to turn “likes” into sales.
Mobile is where your customers are. They carry their smartphones wherever they go. They touch their phones many, many times a day. Shouldn’t some of those touches remind them to stop in and do some holiday shopping at your store?
Clover Rewards is free to merchants who use the Clover system, and from the customer side, it’s an app they can download to their phones and start redeeming their points right away.[image: Smartphone girl by Insights Unspoken on flickr]