Boost Your Mobile Site’s Appeal: Add Location FunctionalitySeptember 6th, 2011 by Trilibis Blogging Team
Once you have your conventional website fully functional, it’s time to turn your attention to your mobile presence. Mobile websites are the point of entry for an explosive number of consumers who go online with smartphones, iPads, and similar devices. To make your site do things like drive purchases and improve loyalty, you need to add features that maximize its appeal on the “small screen.” This series of posts describes approaches to take your mobile website from static and hard-to-read to dynamic and hard-to-leave. The series will explore the following five features:
To begin the series, lets talk location, location, location! It’s equally as important for brick-and-mortar real estate as it is for the virtual real estate of a mobile website. Mobile visitors are eager to find you, your products, or your services. Reward them by offering content or incentives that are tied to their current location, enable them to visit you and, ideally, make quick, convenient purchases.
Location-based functions–including mobile mapping and verifying your current whereabouts–are among the most popular activities performed on smartphones, iPads, and other mobile devices. According to a comScore report, some 48 million people accessed maps on their mobile devices in May 2011, a 33 percent jump from the previous year.
In response to this trend, more and more mobile websites are adding some form of location-based content. This can lead directly to sales, because mobile consumers are near the point of sale already, and buying locally allows them to make a purchase immediately. Here are some examples:
1. Show your customers relevant coupons and specials. Pulte.com’s mobile website (developed by Trilibis) shows specials on homes based on the user’s location. The user can either let the mobile site auto-detect his/her current location with a click of a button or enter the location manually, in case he/she is looking for homes somewhere else.
2. Help your customers see what’s in stock. The shoe retailer DSW, reacting to a doubling of the amount of traffic it receives from mobile devices, is upgrading its mobile site to include location functionality, according to Mobile Commerce Daily. One of the upgrades will enable customers to check inventory at stores closest to their current location.
3. Go from maps to discounts. Google is getting in on the act: its Google Offers program rolled out in Portland and has expanded to a handful of cities including San Francisco and New York. People who search for businesses on Google Maps with their mobile devices see a pop up window with the name of the company. Businesses in participating cities can offer Groupon-style coupons in those pop-up windows. Dr. Edward M. Loev, D.M.D. offers discounts on dental work via his Google maps listing.
4. Get up-to-the-minute information. If you want to see the final installment of the Harry Potter movie series and you don’t have a magic wand to avoid waiting in lines, you’ll purchase tickets in advance at a site like Fandango. When you first visit Fandango’s mobile website, you’re immediately prompted to provide your current location to Fandango, using your device’s GPS system. Once Fandango knows your current location, it can provide you with personalized content. For example, click GoNow and Fandango provides you with a list of movies, where they are playing, how far the theater is from you, and exactly how many minutes you have before the movie starts.
5. Help people find you. Click the Locations button on Costco’s mobile website and you are given the option to search for a Costco Warehouse by zip code or by using your current location. It’s a less intrusive way of getting consumers to use their GPS-enabled device than prompting them to give their location when they first access the site.
According to Microsoft, one half of all searches are now performed on mobile devices. And 50 percent of the world’s 4 billion mobile phone users use their devices for maps and searching. By adding mapping to your mobile site, you take advantage of one of the hottest trends. You direct nearby shoppers to your stores, where they can become paying customers.