Mobile phones are a great tool for both consumers and business owners alike. A recent study found that, collectively, the population of America checks their phones 8 billion times per day. That’s 8 billion opportunities (about 46 daily opportunities per mobile phone user) to check emails, update social media and look for information on restaurants or products.
That’s also 8 billion opportunities to turn a casually browsing mobile phone user into a loyal customer.
Here we’ve gathered some of the best and most effective ways to convert mobile phone users into paying customers, utilizing both new tools and many that are already available.
With the number of computers and laptops being purchased every single day, why should there be such a focus on mobile devices?
One Word: Saturation.
Google helps its users with 100 billion searches every month. More than half of those searches are now made from mobile devices. Since around 65% of Americans own smartphones or devices capable of accessing the internet as well as downloading apps and programs, moving to a mobile-friendly interface makes perfect sense. However, while 73% of those searches might encourage someone to visit a website or continue researching a product, only 28% result in customer conversion, the customer actually calling or visiting the store, or making a purchase either online or in the store itself.
So how can we increase the number of customer conversions?
Be Easy to Remember.
No one is going to remember to come back to your site or store if they can’t remember your phone number or website. One of the best ways to increase customer conversion is simply to be easy to remember. Simple URLs and vanity phone numbers are a great way to accomplish this. What’s easier to remember than 1-523-324-2348 or 1-800-SUNTRUST? For most of us, the latter is much easier to remember, and even on the touch screen of a smartphone, the 1-800 number is less difficult to puzzle out.
Vanity phone numbers enable you to remind the customer of who they are calling before you ever pick up the phone. Other companies, like 1-800-Flowers, also use their vanity number as their URL — you can call them or just punch their phone number into your browser and find their website.
If you’re looking into a vanity number, make sure you run a quick Google search first to check that the one you want is not already taken. Also, make sure you’re careful if you switch from an 800 number to, say, an 888 or 866 number. You might be able to get 1-866-Flowers, for example, but you might find yourself getting a lot of calls for the 800 version.
Fingers in All the Pies.
If you’re a fan of one style of mobile device (i.e. Android vs. iPhone vs. Windows), it might be tempting to be loyal to your favorite brand when setting up your mobile website or app. Don’t.
Cross-platform support is essential in today’s mobile economy. One report has shown that as many as 54% of users will shop on their mobile device before completing a purchase. Of those completed purchases, 45% were actually made in a physical store rather than online.
If a user has an iPhone, an Android tablet and a computer running Windows 10, you’ll need to make sure all of your website and app content is accessible on all of those platforms.
That same report also showed that users are more than twice as likely to find and try out a new brand when browsing with their mobile device as when using another method. Since bringing in new customers is just as important as retaining your current customer base, this is a great way to get your product out there!
Push Those Notifications.
Push notifications, or those little icons that appear in your mobile device’s notification bar, are a great way to encourage customer conversion. Currently, more than 52% of users have some form of push notification enabled on their mobile devices. Customer conversion for consumers who choose to look into a push notification is a whopping 54%. If you don’t have a mobile app, push notifications are unfortunately not an option, but you can still cash in on some of those fantastic conversion numbers by sending text message updates to your users instead.
A study completed in 2004 showed that 64% of users would like to get more texts from companies, and nearly that same amount made a purchase in response to a text message. The more personalized you can make the messages, the better. The World Wildlife Federation, for example, found that they could increase response rates by an astonishing 250% simply by sending personalized text messages.
Let Them Eat Cake (Or at Least Pay for It).
There’s nothing worse than going to a mobile app to make a purchase on an item that you absolutely love, only to find that the app isn’t set up to make payments. Or, how about the pain of walking into the store to make your purchase only to realize that you’ve forgotten your wallet?
The solution to both of these dilemmas is mobile payments. A consumer study done by the Federal Reserve found that most mobile users have made at least one payment from their smartphone in the last year.
These Payments Can Come in a Number of Different Forms:
In-app Payments: Your customer pays for their goods or services directly in your mobile app.
POS (Point of Sale) Payments: Apps like Google Pay and Apple Pay allow the consumer to use their phone as a credit card. It does require an updated POS device, as it reads the RFID information in the phone.
P2P (Person-to-Person) Mobile Funds Transfer: Your customer pays you directly by transferring funds from their account to yours. This can be done through banks, which usually take a couple of business days, or instantly through websites like PayPal.
QR Code Payments: While this can vary from program to program, in general, your point of sale or computer will generate a QR code with all the necessary information, which your customer can scan with their phone. The phone will then direct them to the proper website to complete the payment.
This is just a sample of the possibilities that are currently available. In the future, there might be even more options to choose from, making it even easier for your customer to complete their payments with ease from their mobile devices.
Not sure what your options are for accepting mobile payments? This post covers the top mobile payment platforms available.
Don’t Make It Hard for Them.
Have you ever tried to open a business’s website on your mobile device, only to find that the site didn't work well (or at all) on mobile? Did this encourage you to try to check the website on a desktop or laptop computer?
For most average users, the answer is “no.” If you find a broken site, you’re going to walk away and instead find something else that works.
Create a user-friendly experience the first time, and it will help you create a loyal user base that returns to your app time and time again. Because you’re able to provide whatever good or service, it is that they need in an easy-to-access way.
Make it clean, make it intuitive and easy to use, and it will bring your customers back again and again.
Converting mobile users into paying customers is becoming more important as the number of people using their smartphones for searches and everyday purchases continues to rise. By employing a few of these tips and tricks, you can begin to convert the casual browser into a paying customer. Businesses that do not develop a strong web presence, an easy-to-use app and a smooth mobile experience may find their customer base dwindling as the world moves forward without them.
Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and career blogger sharing advice on finding happiness and success in life and at work. You can find her dishing out advice with a side of wit on Twitter and her career advice blog, Punched Clocks.