Your business can encounter many types of problem these days. Your marketing and advertisements aren’t reaching the right people, and not enough of them. You’re not selling enough of your products and services. You’re not able to reach the revenues you hoped for. So examine your business again, and this time you should focus on the element of mobility. This may be the missing link in your business strategy.
What is Mobility?
To understand the idea and importance of mobility, you first have to take a look at the more traditional non-mobile approach. This means having a store where your customers go.
Then you approach them with various marketing and advertising methods that require your audience to be at a specific place. They need to be near a TV to watch your commercials, read the newspaper to see your print ads, be at home to see your brochures, and be at a specific place to see your billboards and sidewalk ads.
However, with the Internet and the proliferation of mobile devices such as smartphones, mobility enters the scene in a big way. People can visit your website and buy stuff, regardless of where they are. You can also reach them with your marketing through the smartphone, regardless of where they are. This is the very essence of mobility.
But that’s not all. Your workers are also using mobile devices, and you can also take advantage of this in your business communications and operations. With the right policies and tools, you can assign remote tasks based on the location of your employees, and you can also enable more efficient collaboration between workers and team members.
So how do you integrate the idea of mobility into your business strategy? First you have to reach more consumers online. It’s assumed that by now if you have a business you also have a website. That’s a given. But this website must now be also primed for smartphone users. A regular website geared towards a large monitor and a mouse just isn’t as good.
Your website must be mobile ready, which means you need a site that accounts for the smaller screen and for the touchscreen interface. You can use a responsive design that changes smoothly to fit a particular screen size or an adaptive design that comes with several ready layouts for different screen sizes.
The problem with a website is that it’s inherently limited. It doesn’t really allow for a more proactive approach on your part. You have to wait for your consumers to visit your website.
But now you can also use mobile apps, and that’s a different story. The benefits of mobile applications for companies are numerous:
- You can use mobile payment solutions. These apps can enable a smartphone to be used to swipe credit cards and deal with other business transactions. There’s no more any need for a customized payment plan or a large and unwieldy register. So your sales agents can go out on the field and accept payments on the spot wherever they may be.
- Mobile scheduling can also be tremendously helpful. Your customers can download your app, and they can use it to make appointments and reservations for your service. The app can also send reminders and confirmation queries about these appointments. This can work if your business is a salon, a spa, an exercise gym, or a restaurant.
- Mobile dine-in and takeout preorders are also possible. The app can show the consumer what food items are available, and they can pick what they want. When they arrive at your restaurant, the food will be ready for them right away.
- The mobile app can also be used for your loyalty rewards program. Regular customers can get exclusive access to special discounts and early bird deals. You can send special messages on their birthdays and even offer special “we miss you” deals if they haven’t bought anything from you for a while. You can also get valuable info through surveys, while your consumers feel that they have a say in what you offer.
- The GPS in the smartphone also enables a special feature in apps to send messages to customers who are actually very near your shop or restaurant. You can send then information or even discounts that can tempt them to come into your store.
- Mobile apps can enable more efficient customer service too. Your customer support can monitor customer messages 24/7 and respond to them wherever they are.
- These apps can also enable better collaboration between your workers. These apps can allow people to share documents and data more effectively.
Building a Mobility Strategy
Incorporating mobility into your business strategy is more than just having a mobile-ready website, an app for your customers, and apps for your workers. You need to think things through.
Here are the key steps to build successful mobility strategies:
- Goal definition. You need specific aims laid out so you can plan the best methods to achieve them. This can mean offering new products and services to your customers, enhancing the quality of your services, or increasing engagement. You can also plan to enable your workers to work more efficiently through mobile apps.
- Mobile websites vs.mobile apps. These are two distinct approaches to mobility, but they’re not mutually exclusive. It’s not either websites or apps—you can do both. But you have to factor in the pros and cons, and that’s especially true if you wish to develop an app you can offer to your consumers.
- Planned app improvements. Just because you’ve released an app doesn’t mean you’re done with it. You need to monitor bugs and fix issues, and perhaps add features that your customers want.
- Security considerations. Your workers may have greater access to your data through apps, but you have to balance access with proper security. The most effective way for this is to get the right software from vendors.
- Involving the right people. This isn’t just an issue for your IT department. You may need the input of people who will use your company apps. Your marketing people should also have a say in the features available in your customer apps.
A few years ago everyone in the business industry realized that a website is crucial for any business strategy. Nowadays, everyone also knows that mobility is just as important. You can’t ignore the fact that your customers and your workers all use mobile devices. You have to take advantage of this—your competitors already are.