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Technologies Review | August 20, 2017

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How to Keep Consumers Engaged During the Retail Sales Slump

With retail sales on the downslide in recent months, businesses are getting scrappier about connecting with consumers and seizing a larger slice of the online sales pie. To do that, savvy and varied mobile marketing strategies are a must. By targeting mobile customers through multiple strategies, businesses have the best chance of developing their brand visibility and converting sales to grow their revenue.

As smartphones, tablets and other technology become more relied-upon platforms for browsing the Internet and doing business, companies are finding it all the more essential to have marketing strategies that reach consumers through these new outlets. Here are a few essential components of mobile marketing that businesses need to implement — and fast.

Mobile website and email optimization

Smartphones have triggered an explosion of mobile online activity, and perhaps no single activity is more rampant than email. Even feature phones now have the technology to view emails with all their trimmings, not just text, but graphics and layouts.

But in order to be viewed properly on smartphones, emails need to be optimized for viewing and use on cell phone operating systems. This is a process separate from standard email design and can greatly improve the perception of your company by ensuring that all emails are viewed cleanly and are fully functional, regardless of what type of device consumers are using.

The same goes for mobile websites. If a potential customer is referred to your website through an advertisement or link, the website needs to be optimized for mobile devices in order to be fully functional and attractive. Most companies have different layouts and functionalities integrated into mobile websites, so the task of optimizing for mobile use isn’t always simple. But it’s a necessity and should be any company’s first focus where mobile marketing is concerned.

Reaching out via text messages

Sending out text messages is a slippery slope. Too many can quickly turn consumers off of a business, causing them to either ignore the texts or unsubscribe from them entirely. But when used sparingly and only for important messages or offers, SMS text message advertising can be a boon for business, offering a subtle, non-invasive reminder of a company’s offerings, including sales or other promo codes that can coax consumers into a sale.

Texts have a valuable role, but they shouldn’t be dispensed more than one or two times a month. Any more and the consumer-to-business relationship could turn toxic.

Connect and engage through social media

Social media has become omnipresent on the Internet, and it’s a vital tool for businesses looking to grow their online presence. Most of the major social networks are also keenly aware of how consumers interact online, and they understand that smartphones play a major role in this.

Facebook and Twitter have led the charge in mobile functionality, developing widely popular applications that can be installed onto phones and used with ease. These apps represent theoretically limitless marketing opportunities for businesses that take time to develop their online presence.

By developing a following, regularly engaging with customers and prompting discussion through social networks, businesses can create a residual marketing tool that’s integrated cleanly among the other main interests of consumers, including their friends, family, news and entertainment interests. Social media is a one-stop shop for information for many consumers, and businesses that crack into those spheres can greatly increase revenue opportunities and potential to further grow their online audience.

Use location-based apps and services to capitalize on proximity

One of the greatest benefits of smartphones is the abundance of new data and insight companies can gather regarding their customers. For businesses with physical locations, several different applications and tools can be used to track customer habits as a way of determining how to best serve their needs.

Foursquare and other apps are used to track how often customers visit various businesses, how long they stay, etc. Because these apps are incentivized as games, in many cases, customers are more than willing to fork over data to a business. This gives marketers plenty of fuel to determine what deals, promotions or other incentives will be most effective in generating sales and revenue.

This isn’t a comprehensive list of mobile marketing strategies, but by implementing these core methodologies, growing online revenue and sales opportunities becomes simpler. For some, this will require a more dramatic shift in mentality that abandons traditional marketing approaches in favor of those that capitalize on today’s trends. But the payoff of effective mobile marketing can be significant and it could continue to produce revenue well into the future as mobile presence grows.