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The Access to Success: The Complete Guide to Understanding Mobile Commerce

content marketing tips

Phew, I am kind of proud of myself for my self-control because I didn’t just spend money recklessly this month. Yes, all these online shops just can’t leave me alone and I sometimes curse myself for letting my guard down. Back then I used to be so lazy to shop because I had to get ready first and go to the mall, looking at people, crowds and many things I didn’t want to see as an introverted person. Now, I can literally buy anything I want in a flash, straight from my phone. The lesson from this is that we know how powerful ecommerce in this day and age. As time goes by, the inventors are trying to make things easier for us – shopping included. That being said, 2019 is also the year of changes and new stuff. Yes, it’s more like mobile commerce instead of just ecommerce. What’s the difference, actually? On the surface, ecommerce and mobile commerce are virtually identical. The former means selling products over the internet via desktop or laptop computers. The latter means doing exactly the same – but through handheld devices like smartphones or tablets. Ecommerce may focus on a company’s online store, while mobile commerce targets people who shop straight from their phone. Customers shop from brands and retailers through several channels on their phones, including social media, mobile commerce apps, mobile websites and many more. Why? It’s simple; shopping through your phone is easier and you can do it anytime and anywhere. For that reason, big shopping brands like Sephora, Zalora, etc. have started using mobile apps to ease transactions.

If you are a new business owner looking to start mobile commerce business, I know it can be hard sometimes knowing the competition between mobile commerce has been vastly strong nowadays. As a person who provides content marketing services, I have been helping clients get over their fear of starting out because of the tight competition between them and their competitors. Yes, nowadays the rise of mobile commerce is inevitable and the competition is rising high as well. Don’t worry; I’m going to guide you to the access to success through mobile commerce with this article. Keep reading to find out!

Before we start with the guide, let’s talk about benefits of mobile commerce from user perspective first so you can grasp the essential knowledge of mobile commerce. Here they are:

  • Easy transaction anytime and anywhere
  • Additional discounts if ordered from the app
  • New app member benefits
  • Easier access to products
  • Faster loading time

Now that you know the benefits from user perspective, let’s move to the types of mobile commerce. Mobile commerce is not just limited to buying and selling goods through mobile-specific channels. There are other ways you can make use of mobile commerce application, such as:

  • Mobile bookings: Now we don’t have to go to the train station to get tickets anymore. We can just book straight from our phone. All types of bookings like plane tickets, hotels, trains, etc. are available through mobile commerce
  • App-specific marketing and discounts: Perhaps Starbucks is the perfect example for this specific marketing strategy where LINE users can get a buy 1 get 1 promo by showing a specific message they get from Starbucks official LINE ID denoting a buy 1 get 1 promo to the cashier. Yes, this is something that can only be done through mobile commerce.
  • Mobile banking: Going to the ATMs is tiring enough if you only need to send money, right? Mobile banking provides solutions to send money anytime and anywhere you go, unless you are in need of cash, though.
  • Mobile payments: Why do you need cash when you can pay it straight from your phone? With a cashback, no less! People are basically cashless, right now.

So, how do we get started with mobile commerce?

Optimise your mobile commerce site or app

You may have different kinds of marketing strategies and plans, but if your business mobile app or site is not user friendly, no one will end up buying from you. According to research on Google, more than 60% of mobile users will quickly abandon a mobile site or uninstall an app if it’s glitchy or hard to use. Your mobile commerce presence needs to designed and coded for different devices, platforms, and browsers to ensure that end users get a seamless experience.

Use responsive design

I remember the first time I accessed a website through my mobile phone, where there was no laptop and only PC at home while I was on my way to a mall. It was such a bad experience that I couldn’t help going straight to home after that to access my PC so that I could buy something. Why was it such a bad experience? It was because the site was not adjusted to my mobile device size and it ended up ‘freezing’ the whole screen. It’s a good thing that now we can access any site from any device because of the rise of responsive design in this day and age. Responsive design is a design approach to adjust a site size to the size of any device so that the site can be accessed by any device. If your mobile commerce company knows this approach, implement it immediately or your visitor will lose interest in your mobile app or mobile site.

Make it simple for the users

Sure, unique design may attract the eyes of your visitors, but as soon as they find it difficult to access your mobile app or mobile site, or your mobile app or mobile site is hard to understand, they will lose interest already and leave it. Therefore, make it unique but make it simple as well. Use clear and easy navigation so that users can understand where they go and what they should do.

That’s how you understand mobile commerce. In the end, how successful a business is depends on how persistent we are. If you are afraid to take risks, then having a business is not for you, because starting a business needs courage and determination to succeed and that includes taking some risks. If you are ready to start mobile commerce, you can contact us now and let our team help you.

Leveraging Your Contacts: 4 Tips in Upping your Social Selling Game

social media tips

As there’s more than one way to skin a cat, I’ve also come to understand that there’s more than one way for you to sell your products. Last week, completely on a whim, I decided to participate in a local walking tour that aims to educate both locals and tourists about some of the hidden attractions along the route. It was actually pretty fun and I’m somewhat ashamed to say that there are actually a number of places that I’m unfamiliar with even with two decades of living in this city.

Still, the biggest surprise comes right at the end of the tour when I exchanged contact information with other participants and, thinking that we might get together again for another walking tour, was instead bombarded with no less than three business opportunities. Everything these days, it seems, are networking events. If you’re willing to go that far, everything can be turned into a sales channel as can be seen in social media platforms where opportunities to make new acquaintances have been turned into this giant marketplace by social media services and marketers through the practice of social selling.

We’re not here to make friends

I still remember that innocent time in 2008 where Facebook was a way for me to, if not make friends, at least get in touch with other people in that wide circle we call college. Even though I’ve lost touch with a number of people I met during that time, I’m still quite indebted to Facebook as the platform provided me with plenty of opportunities to connect further with people that I recognized from that one class we shared. Just as how Facebook was quite effective for the purpose of finding new people to hang out with, it should be of little surprise that Facebook (and social media platforms in general) can be quite effective as a platform to peddle your products and/or services.

In theory, the practice of social selling is a separate entity when compared to the practice of social media marketing with the key differentiator being the issue of revenue generation. In practice though, the lines between the two can get a little blurry as the practice of social selling can involve more long-term strategies that might not generate revenue immediately but more about raising awareness on the value proposition of the brand, which technically falls under the general umbrella of marketing. No matter what term you use however, social media can be a valuable platform in expanding your businesses’ reach.

The downside however is that social selling can be somewhat tricky to ace. The popularity of social media platforms is still a recent phenomenon and with the likes of Facebook and Instagram constantly updating and adding new features to their respective platforms, it can be quite hard to get a handle on nailing the practice of social selling. As customer trends change and technology progresses, what works today might not produce the same result so it’s important to take the following 4 tips in mind when considering your social selling efforts.

Carefully monitor activities around your brand and your industry

As social media platforms have grown astonishingly massive, with both Facebook and Instagram boasting more than 1 billion users, it’s getting harder to find prospective leads in that ocean of people. Luckily, most platforms come with monitoring tools that should make your job easier in trying to discover prospective leads. Find relevant keywords or hashtags and take a look at the activities around your competitors to scope for potential leads. As your business and the public awareness of your brand goes bigger, you might be able to simply wait for potential leads to come to you but for small businesses who are just starting out, engaging with potential leads is definitely the way to go.

Pay close attention whenever your brand is mentioned or tagged

Another way to scope out for potential leads is to drop by whenever your brand is mentioned or tagged in public. There’s a chance that these mentions aren’t going to be complimentary but instead of shying away from confrontation, these negative mentions could actually be used as an opportunity for you to set things right. If it turns out that the fault lies with you, this provides you with the opportunity to show that you care while if it’s not your fault, this could prevent your reputation from being damaged further. For complimentary mentions, you could simply drop by in the comments and scope out other commenters or those who liked the posts for potential leads.

Connect with influencers and other important figures

Around a decade ago, when small businesses aren’t as plentiful as they are now, my buying process was pretty simple. There were only a couple of boutique denim and leather shoe brands to pay attention to and finding the most ideal pair of jeans or shoes wouldn’t take too long. Fast forward ten years later however and the landscape is as crowded as Bondi Beach on a summer’s day and I have to rely on curators in the form of influencers for my decision making process.

I’m not talking about influencers in the style of the Hadids, Kardashians and the Jenners but more along the lines of microinfluencers with relatively small but loyal followings. These microinfluencers won’t make gossip headlines anytime soon and are usually only known to those with a keen interest in the industry but are highly regarded within their specific niche. If your business targets aficionados and those with an appreciation for the finer things in life, these microinfluencers should be of particular interest.

Try out targeted ads

If you’re looking to expand your reach beyond what you’re capable of doing on your own, you might want to try out paid/targeted ads. As these social media platforms try to further commercialize their platforms, these ads are going to be even more prominent (if they haven’t already) and you might reach a point where your organic marketing efforts simply aren’t working. Targeted ads can also be useful if you’re in the middle of a campaign as the extra incentives might prove to be enough to entice prospective leads.

Keeping Your Enemies Closer: Using Social Media for Competitive Analysis

social media tips

If there’s any trend worth observing in this 21st century is how these contemporary times has made activities that would typically be described as frivolous into something considerably more substantial. You can for example turn your hobby of playing video games into an actual, bountiful living or you can simply upload photos and videos of you in social media into an actual career. That last part there is particularly important as the use of social media is still stigmatized as something silly even though they can be particularly useful as long as you know what to look for from social media platforms.

For one, as social media is where the majority of the younger generation spends a part of their time, platforms such as Twitter or Instagram make for an incredibly fertile ground for the purpose of marketing. Social media platforms allow you to do research on your target market and connect with them directly. However, what’s less known is that those very same platforms could be used for the purpose of competitive analysis where your company can scout your competition and see if there’s anything they’re doing that might be worth considering.

The importance of competitive analysis

No matter how specifically niche your business is, you’re bound to have some competition and your competition typically range from bigger, more established businesses to younger, more agile startups. The common sense is that as a business, you’re going to have to find an edge over these competitions to be successful as a business but when you’re going toe-to-toe with businesses with more brand recognition and resources, there might not be a lot you can do. Whatever the case, competitive analysis can be useful in helping you figure out the landscape for your industry.

In layman’s terms, competitive analysis is the practice of data gathering and analysis of other players in your industry and how they handle their businesses and how they deal with customers. Competitive analysis doesn’t fall under the umbrella of corporate espionage because you’re only dealing with data that are publicly available and this practice has long been a mainstay in responsible business practice. In today’s business world, competitive analysis can be incredibly useful because they might help your business survive even when you’re operating with a disadvantage by helping you finding your niche.

If you can’t be better than your competition, try being different instead. The goal of trying to find your niche is to try a segment of the market that’s still relatively untapped and figure out how to enter that market. Using competitive analysis, you can find out what segment your competitors are focusing on and the kind of audience they’re trying to attract and use that information to carve your own slice of the market. Social media platforms can be incredibly useful here as they provide you with all of this information in a single spot.

Establish who your competitors are

The first thing to do is to try and not to limit your scope simply on other businesses of similar sizes and price range. While you might not be directly competing with businesses that are operating in a different segment, market overlaps here and there is to be expected and checking these brands out will help you in finding other segments to fill. If you’re just starting out, it’s incredibly important for you to try and establish yourself outside your competitor’s shadow and that can be achieved by being unique.

Find out how they’re using social media

Some brands use social media simply as a marketing tool while others use them as sales channel and a customer service channel on top of their purpose as a marketing tool. You can also see which of your competitors are getting more engagement in a platform and how they interact with their customers. Follower and like counts aren’t the only metric you should pay attention to and you might want to try posing as customers and try to interact with your competitors on social media just to see how they handle things. For now, focus on gathering and categorizing these data first before trying to make sense of them.

Check out what influencer they’re keeping an eye on

I’m not talking about the Kardashians or the Hadids of the world; I’m talking about industry-specific influencer whose contents are of a specific niche. For example, I know of several accounts that are knee-deep in the world of denim that are fairly influential even when their follower count is negligible compared to some of the more popular influencers. If you’re trying to establish credibility within the experts of your industry, getting to know these industry-specific influencers are a must and this is just one of the many ways social media competitive analysis could help you.

Use all of the collected information to help your business

By now, you already have an idea on who your competitors are and if you’ve been doing your homework, you should already have an idea on the strengths and weaknesses of each account and how they position themselves within the market. With this information, you should be able to make a decision on whether you’re capable of directly competing with your competitors or if it would be too time-consuming and expensive to try intruding in their domain. If it’s the latter, you should try exploiting existing gaps in the market where none of your competitors excel in.

From all the data you’ve gathered on their social media accounts, you should also have an idea on which account is receiving more engagement from customers. It’s important to underline the social part in social media as ideally, you want there to be more activity in your social media feed. What kind of content they’re using, how they respond to queries on social media and the frequency of updates all have an effect on customer’s engagement and you want to use these information to figure out your own social media strategies.