The owners of businesses, no matter how small or large, should take heed from the adage “Fish where the fish are.”
Consumers are extremely active in social media and getting so comfortable with their mobile devices that they want to do more with them.
Keep in mind that people are talking about your business online whether you’re on social networks or not, so join the party and put your own spin on things. The biggest hurdle for a company to get involved in social media was explained by a Ford Motor Co. executive, who said the hardest thing is to let go of your brand and let consumers run with it. Mind you, Ford has been successful in its social media efforts. Costs are relatively low for such high potential.
Social media sites like Facebook aren’t normally places where consumers actually buy goods, but are virtual gathering spots where they learn or reveal what’s cool and can build consideration for your products or services.
Nevertheless, some companies have added “Buy Now” buttons on their social media pages. While these outfits haven’t revealed what kind of sales volumes they’re seeing from this, there’s little downside since it doesn’t cost much to add this feature. It’s about being where the buyer is when they make the decision to buy.
Social media can expand your customer base via existing clientele writing about your products or their positive experiences in your establishment. Executives may fret about the potential of customers writing negative things, but the benefit in this case is quicker awareness of a problem and the opportunity to rectify it.
WE’RE GOING MOBILE
Cooler smart phone technology has really caught on. Americans are using them more to do more, whether post on social media sites, check email or search for information.
When it comes to shopping, consumers in the not-too-distant past, used the devices for information and in-store price comparisons. But now than they’re more comfortable with the devices they want to complete their transactions.
Outfits like Square, a mobile credit card provider, lets them do that. A cheaper and less bulky alternative to traditional, wireless credit card machines, Square lets business owners accept credit card payments by plugging its jack into the headphone of iPhone, iPad or Android device. Best Buy customers can even complete a transaction using the Best Buy Mobile app.
Major national retailers started using a free smart phone app for customers called Shopkick this summer that rewards in-store shoppers with points towards gift certificates. Shoppers automatically “check in” at the stores when they walk in with the app running and collect points for different behavior, like picking up merchandise, going into dressing rooms or to cash registers.
This app can help the retailers learn about in-store shopping patterns that could result in better layouts and product selection.