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The importance of a mobile sales channel

2015 is nearly here and 2014 proved to the world that mobile commerce (M-Commerce) has become a very important sales and revenue channel. The fact is that we’re living increasingly digital lives and the smartphone is perhaps the biggest single influence on consumer change. Right now we are living in a mobile era. Assuming you’re keeping track of your website’s performance through a proper set of analytics, you will see a rise in the number of visitors using a mobile device compared to those using a traditional desktop or laptop. On average this will be 30 per cent or higher.

What’s next for 2015?

1. From E-Commerce to M-Commerce: mobile mobile mobile.

Shift happens! Mobile is the fastest growing industry in history. With the expected growth of smartphones and internet connectivity for 2015 online usage of mobile devices will continue to skyrocket. In 2014 the growth of M-Commerce outpaced the overall growth of E-Commerce, meaning there is a shift from E-Commerce to M-Commerce.

In fact, the growth of M-Commerce is twice as fast as the growth of E-Commerce. With technology advancing, the experience provided to mobile users is improving, and needs to continue to improve, dramatically. This is going to be another good mobile year for sure!

2. Web versus app

Todays businesses are starting to grasp the opportunities the mobile channel is offering them. With a mobile channel you are not only able to attract new customers, but also improve the relationship with existing ones. The question is: how do you get the most out of the mobile channel? I would suggest that every business owner should at least consider the option of launching a native mobile app. A mobile website works and is adequate in lots of cases, but your mobile channel can be so much better. This is especially true if and when related to webshops. Native mobile apps provide customers with the best user experience. They are more convenient, faster and easier to navigate than any other mobile solution, resulting in higher conversion rates.

3. Mobile shopping

A mobile friendly website is not enough to attract mobile shoppers. Your customers want a good mobile shopping experience, which can be best achieved through native apps. Purchases are easier through an app, because the user interface is much better than mobile websites. How often aren’t you annoyed with the checkout process of a mobile website? Some studies show that up to 70% of customers fail to complete their mobile transactions on checkout via a mobile website.

With a native app you can solve the problem of shopping cart abandonment, because it makes it more convenient to complete an order. Each step in the checkout process is a potential bottleneck so finding ways to reduce them should be a priority. The less bottlenecks you have on your checkout and payment processes, the better your chances are at increasing conversions.

4. Personalised mobile marketing

Your website (mobile or desktop) is a great way for you to showcase your wares and services, but a mobile app can let you actually promote them. To elaborate, your website can only sell your wares to your customers when they visit it. Now if they had your mobile app on their device, you can actively approach them and communicate with them even if they don’t have the app open. One of the great things about today’s modern smartphones is the ability to receive push notifications. You can send your latest deals and promos to your customers or inform them about the nearest branch, and the app doesn’t need to be open for this. More than 90% of a push message will be received by your (potential) customer.

 5. Email marketing will be a first mobile channel

Email may have the reputation that it’s passe. But email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach your customer. Most companies view email marketing from the desktop point of view. A trend that started in 2014 will continue in 2015 and change that view substantially. In the same way businesses now know that a mobile website is an absolute must to satisfy their increasingly mobile audience, they’ll find that they need to optimize their email messages for mobile as well. It’s no secret that PC sales are declining. People are starting to turn to smartphones and tablets more and more for their internet needs. Because these devices are with us almost 24/7, they are our ideal tool for reading and sending email.

I find myself using my smartphone to read and send emails even when I am in the office facing my desktop so that I wouldn’t have to switch windows for example. Current studies show that I am not alone. A mobile-first approach on email also future-proofs your email marketing campaign. Eventually, marketers won’t have a choice anyway. 2015 we’ll be seeing more use of responsive designs for emails. Responsive designs will allow emails to be readable, look good and be friendly to both touch and traditional mouse and keyboard interfaces in order to gain attention and traction across PCs, tablets and smartphones.

by Maarten Schuiling, chief commercial officer of JMango360. You can follow him on Twitter @mschuiling