Posted by Craig

5 Ways a Smartphone Keeps a Business Owner from Falling Behind

smartphones and business

Everyone knows that you can check your email on your smartphone. This was once hailed as the be-all and end-all of smartphone use in business. What could be better than checking and sending emails anywhere?

It conjures up the image of drinking Pina Coladas on the beach and casually checking your phone to close a multi-million dollar deal. Well, times have moved on and “email” is no longer the most productive nor most interesting way your smartphone keeps you up to date. If you’re a business owner then you should check out these less expected ways your smartphone saves your business every day.

View Your Own Site in Mobile

Mobile sales are increasing all the time. Smartphone and tablet viewing of retail sites made up over 26 percent of all viewings in 2013, according to Smart Insights. While that seems like a small percentage of overall views, keep in mind that if your conversion rate suddenly rose by 26 percent. You would definitely feel it in the bottom line. Every single online shop should have a mobile mode that streamlines the site for mobile users. If you’ve never given your site a look through a portable device while you’re riding on the train or trying to get through a boring meeting (discreetly, obviously), then how will you know what it looks like and whether or not it’s all right? If you tweak something on your site you should make sure that it doesn’t damage the mobile site. Make sure that your site looks great on a mobile device, and check after every update to be sure that you’re not alienating a portion of your audience.

Check Inventory on the Go

When a business lists all of its inventory online, it runs the risk of double selling. If you have to update your inventory yourself, you might accidentally sell two people the same hand dyed scarf, for example. Then you have to give someone their money back or hope that they’d accept a different item. Even if they are gracious, it still reflects poorly on you. When you have a smartphone, you can download the apps needed to check your inventory at all times. You can sync new purchases so that person browsing your site doesn’t accidentally try to buy something that someone else just picked off the rack, and vice versa. Selling out from under an online customer is a very risky thing to do, since online profits are still on the rise as it becomes more and more of the preferred way to shop.

Hardware in the Palm of Your Hand

Most people want total control over their store. A smartphone is more than just something to keep track of your stock intake. If you use the apps and hardware from ecommerce solution providers such as Shopify, for example, you could never waste any time at the store again. You could use an app right from your smartphone to control your barcode printer and scanner. The sooner you’re done marking up the new inventory, the sooner you get to go home and relax, so it makes sense to turn as much of your time at work as you can into productivity.

Think like a Customer

Did you know that the Millennial generation is equal in size to Baby Boomers? It’s true. It’s also true that these customers (because they are a very large demographic for you, weighing in at $2.5 trillion in spending power) are deeply dependent on technology. Did you know that roughly 50 percent of them would rather give up the ability to smell than to never use technology again, according to Arch Point Consulting? Having a smartphone is just one of those cultural trends that’s very difficult to understand from the outside. If you have a smartphone and you follow even the basic trends you automatically get insights into marvels like micro transactions, which are the impulse buys of the Internet age—but can register an average of $27 per customer. Knowing about the psychology of micro transactions (things that tend to augment or improve an existing purchase rather than just being something wholly new) helps you figure out how to set up your store to best mimic the micro transaction scenario your customers are used to getting online.

Keeping up with Pay-Per-Click Ads

You’re not a machine dedicated to getting the lowest price on pay per click advertising. However, the cost of this advertising is subject to change, and it doesn’t hurt to check in on the hottest keywords every day or so. No matter where you are, slip out your phone and do a quick search for the keywords you covet the most but can rarely afford. This pay per click system is the fastest way to build traffic, according to Entrepreneur.