by Juan Robin II
It’s a common misconception that you need to always focus on customer acquisition to drive sales and increase profits.
I hear this all the time when I’m consulting business owners. You can generate sales in many other ways.
Sometimes, all you need to do is make subtle changes to your existing process. That way, you can improve the experience of your current customers and get them to spend more money.
You should set goals that help you increase the average purchase order and buying frequency.
One of the best ways to do this is by encouraging mobile spending.
In 2017, mobile commerce held a 34.5% share of total ecommerce sales in the United States. At this growth rate, experts predict this number is to rise to 54% by the year 2021.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. That’s because seemingly everyone has a mobile device glued to their hands at all times.
Smartphones. Tablets. That’s where people are browsing and consuming. Recognize these trends, and accommodate the needs of mobile users.
Here’s the bottom line. If you can encourage customers to buy from their mobile devices, you’ll be able to make more money. I’ll explain everything you need to know in order to make this happen.
Optimize your website for mobile devices
The first step in the process is to make sure your web design is optimized for mobile users.
Take a look at how users react to mobile-friendly sites:
People visiting your website are 67% more likely to buy your products or services if it is mobile optimized. But 61% of users will abandon your page if the design isn’t mobile-friendly.
Furthermore, 74% of users say they are more likely to return to mobile-friendly websites.
Here’s why. Take a moment to think about the current layout of your desktop site. Certain elements will need to be changed to fit properly on a small screen.
Now, users won’t have to struggle to read small text. There’s no need for them to zoom in, side scroll, or do anything else that would impair their experience and limit their buying behavior.
It’s important for you to prioritize the optimization of your mobile website. This needs to happen before you start campaigns that drive more traffic to it.
Based on what I just discussed, it can have an adverse effect on the consumer opinion if they visit a site not optimized for their device. Otherwise, you’ll have high bounce rates and people leaving your site because navigation is too difficult.
It’s safe to say this should be your biggest priority right now if you haven’t already completed this step.
Here is a basic template to show you what a mobile-friendly design looks like:
As you can see, the design on the right is much easier to read, navigate, and comprehend.
You can improve your conversion rates and increase sales by simply implementing this strategy.
Create a mobile app
A mobile-friendly website is great, and it’s 100% necessary based on everything I have already covered.
But if you want to take your mobile campaigns to the next level, you also need to create a mobile application.
Look, I get it. I realize this isn’t as simple as changing an image on the homepage of your website. Business owners may be on the fence about developing an app because of the time and costs associated with a project of this magnitude.
I won’t lie to you. This can be a long and grueling process. It’s not necessarily going to be the least expensive investment you make in your life either.
But the results are worth it. Once you have an app up and running, it can do wonders for your business.
Your mobile app is basically an enhanced version of your mobile site. Every aspect and element of the app will be better than those of your mobile site. Users will recognize the improved experience, and it will ultimately get them to spend more money.
It’s a great idea for all businesses in every industry to build a mobile app.
According to recent studies, experts predict that mobile spending via apps will rise to more than $110 billion by the end of 2018. That’s a 30% spending increase from the previous year.
Numbers this high are just too big to ignore. It’s clear that consumers have a growing comfort level with spending money using mobile apps.
These are the top three reasons why small business owners are building apps for their companies:
If you recall, earlier I said you don’t need to focus on customer acquisition if you want to increase your sales. But with a mobile app, it will be easier for you to get new customers without having to put in too much effort.
As we continue throughout this guide, you’ll see how new customers will automatically be more attracted to your business and willing to spend if you have an app available.
Focus on speed and performance
Whether users are accessing your mobile website or mobile app, there is one thing they both need to have: they have to be fast.
Research shows ecommerce sites lose half of their traffic if the page doesn’t load in less than three seconds. Worse, 74% of people will abandon a mobile page if it takes five seconds to load.
Having a slow mobile page is one of the fastest ways to kill your conversion rates. You can’t expect to increase sales if that’s happening.
But on the flip side, high speed results in higher conversions and more sales.
The same concept applies to your mobile app. Take a look at how quickly people expect mobile apps to launch:
Remember, you’re trying to get people to spend their hard-earned money.
If you give them an excuse to change their minds, they will take it. If they are sitting on a loading page for a few seconds, it’s easy for them to get frustrated and decide not to complete the checkout process.
But if everything loads instantly, they won’t have a reason or even a chance to change their minds.
Speed and performance go hand in hand. Sure, your site and app may load quickly, but if they have tons of glitches and crashes, it won’t help your conversion rates.
People value their time too much. If your platforms are giving them problems, they’ll find another site or app to use instead.
This could be detrimental to your brand. In fact, 83% of app users say performance of a mobile app is important to them.
Apps that are fast and perform well enhance the user experience. But 48% of people who had a bad experience using an app are less likely to use it again.
Studies show 34% of consumers who had a poor app experience will go straight to a competitor’s app.
But if you prioritize speed and performance, you won’t have to worry about these problems.
Eliminate unnecessary steps in the checkout process
This piggybacks on our last point. When someone decides what they want to buy, don’t make them jump through hoops to get it.
Having an efficient checkout process is important for the conversion rates on your desktop site as well. But it’s even more important for mobile devices.
That’s because it’s much harder for people to fill out information on their smartphones or tablets. To buy something, people have to enter their names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card information, and more.
It’s obviously easier to do this from a desktop device with a full keyboard than from a 4-inch screen. That’s why it’s important to ask only for the bare minimum.
Do you really need their phone number? Probably not.
Eliminate steps and fields that aren’t absolutely necessary to complete the purchase. Each added step will hurt your conversion rates.
Your mobile app can help improve your checkout process even more than your mobile website. That’s because it’s easy for users to save information to their profiles.
They won’t have to fill out all these fields each time they want to buy something. As long as they are logged into their profiles, they should be able to complete their purchases with just a few clicks.
Having a mobile app also makes it easier for you to implement and accept alternative payment options, such as Apple Pay.
Personalization is key
You’ve got to make sure your ads and marketing campaigns are properly targeting the right people. Getting customers to shop from their mobile devices can make this easier for you.
As I said earlier, it helps speed up the checkout process. But having a customer profile on a mobile app can do so much more than this as well.
Now, you’ll be able to recommend items to your customers based on their browsing habits and previous purchase history.
You may be surprised to hear that people are comfortable having their behavior monitored if it improves their shopping experience:
Furthermore, 74% of consumers feel frustrated if the content isn’t personalized on websites. And 77% of consumers say they paid more for products and recommended brands to others if that company offered a personalized shopping experience.
It’s simple. Your customers want personalization.
Here’s a simple example to show you what I’m talking about. Let’s say someone purchased a snowboard, boots, a winter hat, and gloves from your app.
The next time they launch the app, you can have product recommendations on their homepage for items such as a snowboarding jacket or goggles.
Giving them recommendations for a surfboard or bathing suit probably won’t make too much sense.
You can also personalize suggested items based on things such as gender, age, and location. Meaning you shouldn’t promote dresses and skirts to male customers.
Try using location-based services and geofencing technology to target customers based on their locations. This can bring your personalization campaigns to a whole new level.
When an app user enters a specific area, they can get a targeted push notification to encourage a sale. This could happen when they are within the vicinity of one of your retail stores or for other reasons as well.
Implement a digital loyalty program
Customer loyalty programs are one of my favorite ways to increase sales.
It gives your customers a reason to keep shopping and coming back because they want to benefit from the rewards you’re offering. There are several ways to approach this.
No matter which one you choose, it will increase the likelihood of customers making purchases from your brand.
One of the most common types of loyalty programs is based on a per visit or per purchase system. Think about how a punch card works at a local deli or pizza shop.
Businesses offer something like a free meal on the customer’s 10th visit, regardless of how much the customer spends each time they buy something.
Another way to approach this is based on spending tiers. The more a customer spends in a given time frame, such as a year, the better their benefits get.
No matter which option you choose, having a loyalty program built into your mobile app will help skyrocket your sales. That’s because people won’t have to worry about carrying a physical card.
They won’t need to memorize an account number. All they need to do is make purchases through the app, and the rest takes care of itself.
It’s easy for them to monitor their purchase history and progress toward their rewards.
Psychologically, this will entice your customers to spend more money and buy more often. They’ll want to do whatever they can to reach the next reward level and enjoy the benefits that come with it.
Promote mobile benefits, and offer incentives to spend
So you created a mobile-friendly website and built a mobile app. Now what?
Nobody will know about it until you tell them. Use all your marketing channels to spread the word.
Don’t wait until your app is launched to tell people. Start building hype so the customers are ready for it and are anxiously waiting to download as soon as they can.
They’ll be able to start spending as soon as the app launches. Talk about these benefits on channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Send information to subscribers on your email list as well.
Did you know 54% of emails are opened from mobile devices? If you have links in your emails, make sure they drive the recipients to your mobile-friendly website.
All your emails should have a “download our app” button somewhere within the message. If you don’t promote it, you can’t expect to see results.
You’ll also need to give people an incentive to shop from their mobile devices.
One of the best ways to do this is by offering a discount off their first purchase from the mobile app. This is a great reason for people to download the app and spend money.
Here is an example of this strategy implemented by the Shopbop brand:
Another way to increase sales is by creating a customer referral program through your app. Set up one that offers an incentive for the current customer as well as the new customer.
This is basically free promotion. The only cost to you is the discount you’re offering, which shouldn’t be drastic enough to hurt your profit margins.
Plus, the more people download your app and use it, the greater the chances of other people discovering it when they are browsing the app store.
This increases your brand’s credibility. Ultimately, this will help you get new customers and generate higher sales.
If you want to get more sales, you’ve got to find ways to improve the experience of your existing customers. Recognize their consumption habits, and adjust your process accordingly.
Start by designing a website optimized for mobile devices. After that, you can build an app to take the shopping experience to a whole new level.
Prioritize speed and performance. Simplify the checkout process.
Offer a personalized shopping experience for mobile users. Use your app to enhance your customer loyalty program.
Just make sure you are properly promoting your mobile benefits and giving customers incentives to spend.
Follow these tips if you want to generate higher sales from mobile customers.
How is your business encouraging customers to spend more money on your mobile site and app?