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February 2011
Ring...Ring The Web is Calling
By Kip Cozart

Web-connected smart phones had a big impact on in-store consumer shopping behavior this past holiday season. According to a survey just released by Motorola (Motorola Solutions), 39% of shoppers accessed information on their mobile phones while on location which influenced their decision to walk out of the store and complete their purchase elsewhere; 12% of those shoppers directly compared the pricing of other retailers; and 8% checked available product inventory at other nearby outlets.

     This means: Customers are now equipped and conditioned to access online information and to compare your offerings to that of your competitors anytime and anywhere. For business-to-consumer and business-to-business enterprises alike, the impact of immediate, on-demand Web content is a significant sales “game changer.” Does your company’s Web strategy stack up? It’s time to strengthen your mobile Web channel. Think “Mobile Maximization.”

   

     The race is on… The speed and accessibility of your Web content is becoming increasingly important to the mobile user. If critical information cannot be found easily and almost immediately, the visitor will simply jump over to another competitor’s website and keep searching. Streamline your presentation, conveying the most compelling customer benefit first, while providing secondary selling points a few clicks later. Simplify the touch screen controls in the page, offering just a few click point choices within any screen view. Include a simple keyword search to jump customers directly to desired content more quickly.

 

Managing on-demand price comparisons… With the rise of on-site comparative shopping, mobile Web shoppers expect greater price transparency from vendor to vendor online. This poses a dilemma for many businesses that differentiate their products with qualities other than price or must provide customized quotes due to the nature of their business.

      However, if you offer no specific pricing, it is likely that potential customers will pass you by as they search for other comparative pricing. If you choose to post pricing on your site, position it predominantly on the page. If you choose not to post pricing, then your mobile content has to work harder to engage the customer in other ways.

 

The key is engagement… Consider these approaches:

     •Add a “click-to-call” option, encouraging visitors to “call now,” promising immediate assistance in a non-pressure environment. Make sure that you have staff available to receive calls when customers are most likely shopping for your services.

     •Offer a “text response” option that delivers the requested information right to the customer’s cell phone within moments of the original request. This allows you to quickly present sensitive information that is not otherwise posted on your public website (such as pricing, payment options, and unique value statements). SMS (short message service) text responses can be automated, delivering prewritten responses matching a menu of frequently asked questions. Use follow-up texting to extend the sales conversation and solidify the opportunity.

     •Offer exclusive incentives to the mobile shopper who makes the extra effort to communicate with you. Offer a “free consulting” session, a non-published discount if the prospect contacts you within the next 10 minutes.

     Content provided by CC Communications, a Web design, programming and Internet media company providing a full array of services to businesses and organizations to enhance and produce effective Web, e-mail, multimedia marketing initiatives and business process improvements. For more information, contact Kip Cozart at 704-543-1171 or visit www.cccommunications.com/resources_articles.cfm.

Kip Cozart is CEO of CC Communications, a Web design, programming and Internet media company.
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