9 Ways Mobile Commerce Will Increase Your Holiday Sales

Experts in mobile commerce and retail marketing share tips on how you can use mobile apps, QR codes and mobile commerce to boost sales this holiday season.

By Jennifer Lonoff Schiff
Mon, November 19, 2012

CIO — In its recent Mindset of a Multi-Channel Shopper survey, MarketLive reports that 16 percent of respondents planned to do all or most of their holiday shopping via their smartphone or tablet--up from 3 percent in 2011. In addition, according to the National Retail Federation holiday consumer spending survey, more than half (53 percent) of shoppers who own smartphones and nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of those who own tablets plan to use their devices to research and purchase holiday gifts.

While mobile commerce, mobile apps and QR codes have been around for several holiday seasons, many retailers are still not availing themselves of these important marketing and sales tools--or are using them ineffectively. And that reluctance to harness mobile or inability to leverage it may be costing businesses sales.

Make More Money With Mobile Commerce

To help you make the most of mobile, CIO.com asked dozens of mobile marketing and retail experts how businesses could improve their holiday sales via the use of mobile apps and mobile commerce. Following are their top nine tips.

Tip 1: Make sure your website is mobile friendly (i.e., you have a mobile version of your website). "Twenty-two percent of all local Google searches are done from smartphones," says Ron Rule, the vice president of ecommerce at Infusion Brands and ecommerce blogger . "Even if you aren't actively promoting an ecommerce site, if your website isn't mobile-friendly, you're missing out on traffic."

Indeed, retailers with "optimized mobile sites gain an average of twice the traffic and engagement per user than those without a mobile optimized site," says Priscilla Vento, partner and co-founder of ZapMobi, a free web service platform. "Online businesses and retailers small and large should be fully mobile web-optimized before the holiday rush. A mobile site where product info and checkout is simple for customers to view and navigate is key for increased mobile web sales this holiday season."

[Related: Apple iPhone Passbook: The Future of Mobile Payments? ]

Tip 2: Make sure your mobile app is cross-platform. "Deploy a mobile presence across all key platforms in time for the shopping season to maximize your reach," says Francisco Kattan, vice president of Marketing at Exadel, an enterprise mobile software developer. "Deploy apps on iOS, Android and Windows devices and an HTML5 mobile web app to cover all other devices. If your app is not already done or well underway, leverage a rapid development platform such as Tiggzi that can deliver a complete app across platforms in days."

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