How The Fusion Of Mobile Tech And Social Media Is Changing Shopping
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When two emerging trends finally intersect, it’s usually cause for excitement at the opening up of new opportunities and possibilities. At the same time, that intersection also brings with it plenty of challenges which encourage more innovative solutions to overcome. Right now, we’re in the midst of just such an intersection as the dual trends of rising mobile technology and proliferation of social media come together. The two seem like the perfect fit in more ways than one, but the true opportunity as far as businesses are concerned is how social media and mobile technology are set to change the way people shop online. Needless to say, the opportunities are as numerous as they are enormous, and companies able to tap into these trends will be set up for success for many years to come.
To see how these two trends fit together, it’s important to look at them through separate lenses. Mobile technology has truly taken off in the past decade, most visibly through the explosion of smartphones. With mobile technology, people can get access to almost anything with the simple swipe of a finger. That includes access to the internet. In fact, mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are quickly replacing traditional desktop computers for internet browsing. A recent study shows that mobile devices are responsible for nearly 40 percent of website page views across the globe. The same study shows a significant decrease in web traffic from desktops and laptops. Mobile technology provides added convenience and interaction, which has also lead to an increase in the number of companies adopting bring your own device (BYOD) policies.
At the same time mobile technology reached new heights, social media became more widespread. What started out with sites like Facebook has now become a whole industry, with social media networks like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and many more. Literally billions of people all over the world use social media every day, making it an attractive avenue for businesses to utilize to reach more customers.
As should come as no surprise, social media and mobile technology have merged almost seamlessly, and that has changed how people shop. Paid advertisements have become a common sight on social media sites, but these ads aren’t simply pasted on the screen without a second thought. Many advertisements are made by marketers with the help of big data analytics. Data collected from users’ online behaviors can help marketers tailor their messages to individuals, appealing to their own tastes and preferences, essentially creating a unique message designed to stimulate a response from each person.
Of particular interest to businesses is how mobile technology and social media can shorten the sales funnel. Instead of a long, drawn out process of raising recognition and encouraging interest, companies can get right to the payment stage as quickly as possible. One example of this is simply putting a “Buy Now” button on advertisements featured on social media. The immediacy of the offer, coupled by the convenience from pressing a button on a smartphone, makes this an effective strategy for encouraging impulse buys. Of note is the fact that this strategy is a relatively low cost one that’s easy to implement.
Social media and mobile technology also open up the possibility of increasing engagement with customers. People like interactivity, and businesses that take part in conversations with them of any form stand a better chance of securing customer loyalty. These two-way conversations can answer questions, respond to concerns or complaints, and encourage even more shopping through specialized offers. It’s no secret people use their smartphones to access social media for reviews and recommendations, so businesses would be wise to become part of that picture by engaging with customers at multiple stages. With mobile devices, this level of engagement is made much easier and more efficient.
Perhaps most exciting is the fact that the future is far from set when it comes to how companies use social media and mobile technology for shopping. The possibilities are nearly endless, and with the right creativity, companies will be able to utilize both trends in new and intriguing ways. Customers likewise are discovering how the shopping experience is changing thanks to social media and mobile devices, which makes now the opportune moment for businesses to capitalize.
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