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December 2011
Advances in Mobile Web Technologies Dial Up New Customers
By Kip Cozart

     Over 35 percent of all adult Americans regularly now use smartphone technology to gather information, make buying decisions, and initiate transactions. Today, consumers are fully engaged, connecting using mobile Web browsers and applications at home (93%), while on the go (87%), in stores (77%), at work (72%) and nearly everywhere else.

     Moreover, mobile Web customers are extremely responsive, with 9 out of 10 smartphone users taking direct action as a result of online searching. Smartphone consumer activity is exploding, but is your business ready and equipped to attract and serve this expanding market? There are new tools and techniques that can speed the development of your company’s mobile Web performance.* Think Mobile Advantage.”

 

Mobile credit card transactions Swipe credit cards and process instant, secure online payment transactions anywhere using Square (SquareUp.com). Square provides a free tiny card swipe reader device that plugs directly into the audio jack of your smartphone. With the use the free Square mobile phone app, you may swipe credit cards and process individual payments that are later deposited directly into your designated checking account. For a low 2.75 percent flat rate transaction fee, you can collect unlimited payments immediately from any location with a cell phone signal.

 

Instant touchpad ordering systems… Enhance your onsite order-taking capability by providing customers with the option to place menu-driven orders themselves, using the touchpad built into their own smartphones. At-a-glance menus can easily be presented through a mobile landing page and accessed when needed through the cell phone’s Web browser.

     Once submitted, the incoming order is posted on a receiving screen visible by members of your staff. Order and pricing confirmations along with estimated wait times can be returned back to the smartphone user via SMS text message. This same mobile Web process can be configured to accept online reservations, confirm available inventory, schedule a service call, pre-order pick-up items, present status updates, or convey group-wide messages.

 

Just-in-time coupon delivery… Over 70 percent of all mobile Web consumers use their phone while shopping in stores, providing numerous proactive onsite sales opportunities. To promote greater walk-in traffic, offer smartphone customers the ability to access an on-screen coupon that may be redeemed at the register within the next 60 minutes.

     Encourage customers to register for a coupon, special gift or incentive while shopping, so that you may collect their contact information for future marketing purposes. Display special QR codes on store shelves that can link the smartphone shopper directly to special un-advertised, in-store incentives designed to encourage an immediate purchase.

 

Price comparison shopping … Mobile Web shoppers often compare competitive product pricing online before they decide to complete a purchase at current given store location. To combat potential lost sales, consider posting a guaranteed price-matching policy in the store, allowing customers to present competitive prices that they locate using their smartphone to qualify for an immediate, matching in-store discount.

 

An online tour-guide … Remember that a smartphone can instantly connect customers to a wide range of on-demand, self-guided sales presentations, even if you cannot be present to close the deal. Offer links to YouTube video presentations that feature testimonials, narrated walk-throughs or detailed product demonstrations at any time of the day.

     Display QR codes that directly prompt smartphones to display product information and self-service order forms. Post interactive touch screen questionnaires that are designed to prequalify and determine a customer’s specific interest to facilitate follow-up sales activities.

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