Now that smartphones and wearable fitness trackers and/or watches accompany consumers everywhere they go, it’s no wonder that mobile commerce has exploded. Now customers can get all of their buying done simply through the use of these devices, without even having access to cash or a physical card. If you have not yet put a lot of thought into this burgeoning business trend or considered incorporating it into your checkout, now is the time to discover the benefits mobile payment acceptance can bring to your bottom line.
Easier access to your products and/or services.
Whether you have a physical shop, a webpage, or both, mobile shopping is sure to make your offerings more accessible to your target buyers. For that to happen, however, you’ll first need to make sure that you have the right payments hardware and software.
• For your physical store, ask your payment processing company to provide you with card readers equipped with near-field communications (NFC) technology. These allow you and your employees to interface with customers’ phones and wearables at short and safe distances to facilitate purchases.
• For your ecommerce site, make sure it’s optimized for mobile. In other words, shoppers accessing it on their smartphones should be able to navigate content, select items, and make their purchases, quickly and with ease.
• Double-check to ensure that your payment gateway is integrated with your shopping cart and is PCI-compliant. (This means that the gateway provider takes steps to ensure that it meets the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) for safeguarding sensitive cardholder data.)
Once you have laid these foundations, you can begin to provide products and services securely and conveniently to your customers who choose to shop through mobile means.
Creates a better user experience.
Today’s consumers are busier than ever. They want their shopping experience to be on their terms. That means fast, flexible, and frictionless. Giving them the ability to browse for and purchase items at any time and from anywhere via mobile commerce allows you to meet this demand.
Creating a mobile app enhances your reach even further.
Not so long ago, only major businesses had their own dedicated apps. However, that is no longer the case. With a little tech elbow grease on your part (or by investing in some expert assistance from an outside developer), you too can make your business’s presence known on the Apple and Google application stores.
Once you have an app and you’ve spread the word about it, customers can begin to take advantage of all the things it can allow them to do.
• Browse your products wherever and whenever.
• Learn about deals and promotions.
• Stay in the loop on new offerings and store hours.
• Order items for delivery, or in-store or curbside pickup.
Working in tandem with your webpage, your app can be one of your most effective ambassadors – well worth the investment of time or money that you’ll need to make to create and maintain it.
Augment your customers’ in-store retail experience.
It may seem as if your online hosted checkout process never touches the physical process that takes place at your brick-and-mortar store’s point of sale (POS) system. In reality, however, virtual and in-person buying complement each other. Increasingly, shoppers are using the two in tandem to optimize their buying experience.
For instance, a customer may begin by conducting an online search for a particular item. They browse your website, read customer reviews, and view accompanying videos. They may even check out competitors’ sites to make sure the price is right.
Yet, they may want to actually see and touch the product before making a purchase. Not a problem. It’s a simple matter of taking their mobile device with them when they come to your physical store. After viewing and touching the item and receiving your top-shelf customer service, they might elect to make the purchase then and there. Or, they may choose to do so via your ecommerce page for fast delivery to their home address. In the end, online and on-site should work together in harmony to help consumers make the most out of their relationship with your business.
Attract new customers.
Smartphones are really small, hand-held computers that provide their users with anytime, anywhere access to the world. When a happy buyer leaves your physical store or is overjoyed about a product they ordered from you online, chances are good that they will spread the word on any number of social media forums such as Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram. This is nothing less than free advertising.
Taking the time to establish dynamic social media pages of your own can tap into this trend and make it work even harder for you. Encouraging customers to post reviews, unboxings, and instructional videos that reference your business and the things you sell automatically connects you not only to other established buyers, but also to their friends and family. Remember: Social media has the potential to be a vehicle that makes your store go viral, with all of the success that entails.
No one would deny that regularly updating your website can cost you time and money. The same is true for developing an app or paying experts to do it for you. However, the benefits you are likely to receive can pay for these financial outlays many times over.
Just think about everything that mobile shopping in its various forms can offer.
• A faster and more secure checkout for in-person shoppers.
• The ability to browse and purchase online at any time and from anywhere.
• An enhanced customer experience.
• Jump-started marketing campaigns, aided by free positive word-of-mouth from happy buyers.
These are just a few of the gifts that the mobile shopping trend can bring to your business. If you haven’t already fully embraced mobile shopping and set your business up to benefit from it, don’t let another day go by before setting yourself up for success.