December 6, 2011

The increasing market penetration of the smart phone has once again totally changed the way that consumers interact with the market place.  Online marketing has always represented an opportunity, but the mobile phone has made it more important than ever.  Mobile browsers are more common than ever, and the way they use mobile browsing is also transforming.  Where once mobile browsing was a strictly business tool, today it is also a shopping and socialising tool.  Mobile browsers use cell phones to look for local stores.  Where the Internet has historically been used to advertise businesses that predominantly sell online, it must now be used by small local businesses as well.

Use the Internet to Stay Visible

A display window is a good start when marketing to the general public; however, it is no longer enough.  With more people using the Internet to pre-shop than ever it is crucial that you maintain a visible presence online.  Most businesses gain 80% of their total sales from repeat business, which still leaves plenty of room for expansion with new customers.  To bring new consumers through the door you will need to be visible to them.  Locals may walk by your shop and see your display window, but that limits your opportunities with people further afield.  A careful maximisation of your online presence can be the difference between expanding your new business and relying only on existing customers.  There are several ways to make online advertising effective for your local business.

  • Update local listings, so that your business will show up when searched online.  The more listings you keep updated, the easier it will be for consumers to find your business when they are looking for items you sell.
  • Choose thoughtful keywords.  Keywords are what will drive business to your site.  Make sure that your keywords are an accurate representation of what you sell, so that consumers come back again and again.
  • Post your sales.  Many consumers comparison shop online before buying in store.  This means that failing to post your sale prices could send consumers to a competitor, even when you have the lowest price.
  • Maintain your website.  If you fail to update your website on a regular basis you lose customers.  People shop for new things, and when your website does not put up new items people stop checking and move onto something else.

How Mobile Users Browse

To make the most of the online opportunity it is crucial that you list your company in every possible location.  Many people will run searches on their phones to find a location that is convenient to make their purchases.  Mobile users are often in a hurry and place convenience over price.  If you are not advertising online you risk losing out on that business.  Unlike other internet searches, mobile browsers convert to purchasers almost two thirds of the time.  No other marketing method has that kind of turnaround.




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