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4 Ways to Increase In-Store and Online Sales with Cell Phones

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According to Pew Research Center, 95% of Americans own a cell phone. That means there's extraordinary potential for reaching new (and existing) customers by phone.

Do you currently target, market, or sell to your customers through mobile campaigns? If not, then it’s time to tap into this resource. Below I’ll explain four great ways to do that, that will increase both in-store and online sales.

1. Engage your customers through SMS (text messages).

Venture Beat reports that the open rate for SMS-based promotions is 98%... which means just about everybody reads their text messages - even those from businesses.

Conversions and click-through rates (CTRs) are significantly higher via text than the standard email open rates, too, by about 30%.

This means there’s a huge opportunity for businesses to incorporate text messages into their marketing and sales campaigns. Using a text message service for small businesses like Text Request will help to quadruple your reach, increase your leads, and boost your sales.

Here's an example message you might send (or might have seen):

Good morning! Get 30% off the entire store when you shop this weekend at T.J. Maxx! Come by 10-9 Fri-Sun, or shop online at tjmaxx.com

Send customers texts to remind them about upcoming weekend sales going on in-store. You can also start an SMS-based rewards program to promote customer loyalty.

However your company decides to use SMS, keep messages interesting, relevant, and short. Also remember to limit the amount you send so customers won’t become annoyed and opt out. In other words, only text when you have something valuable to share.

2. Use a portable payment processor that attaches to your phone.

If you travel for work, own a food truck, rent booth space at exhibits and events, run a retail store, or even send employees to people’s homes and offices, you should definitely invest in a portable payment processor.

Get rid of your “CASH ONLY” signs, paper invoices, and bulky card reader machines. Using a payment system that directly attaches to your cell phone will revolutionize the way you handle business both in-store and on-the-move.

It’s also a great way to digitize your business, increase conversions, improve accounts receivable, and expand your reach by offering potential customers another - likely preferred - way to pay.

Credit Card Processor for Cell Phones

PC: Giphy

There are various options to choose from - some card readers are small and free to order, whereas others are not. For example, Shopify’s POS system accepts credit cards from all major companies and Apple Pay, and has the ability to accept chip and magnetic swipe cards. Shop around to see which portable POS is right for you and your brand.

3. Offer mobile coupons with scannable barcodes.

Over 80% of customers say that coupons impact their buying decisions.

Although mail coupons are still frequently used, printable coupons are practically a relic. Mobile coupons are the easiest way to make sure customers always have their discount handy (and they're easy to scan).

Mobile Coupon with Barcode Example

PC: RetailMeNot

Popular coupon sites like Coupons.com and RetailMeNot.com have taken the e-commerce world by storm. People love sales (and free things), so incorporating a digital coupon via code or barcode will certainly help to boost your revenue (especially if you text those coupons to loyal customers and subscribers).

4. Convert your store loyalty card into a digital one that can be added to a mobile wallet.

If I want a cup of coffee from Starbucks, I don’t need any cash. I don’t even need a credit card. How do I pay? With my phone!

Starbucks Loyalty Rewards Program Example

PC: OneMileataTime

Digital cards enable customers to easily submit safe, secure payments through their mobile device. Why do you think all of the major stores like Exxon Mobil (Speedpass) and Starbucks (Rewards) have already implemented this system?

Although I personally like using the Starbucks app, the rewards card (which holds your prepaid card balance) can also be added to my iPhone’s Apple Wallet.

Converting your handheld store card into a digital card that can be added to a phone wallet is a surefire way to increase conversions while providing a better customer experience. 

How do you start?

There are various ways that you can use cell phones to increase in-store and online sales. By using text services, attachable card readers, mobile coupons, and digital store cards, your company is bound to see a boost in its bottom line!

To get started, pick the tip from this article that will be easiest for you to implement. Then start using it! Once you're comfortable with it, come by and choose another tip. Repeat to your heart's content.

Related: 17 Mobile Engagement Tips Essential for Small Business Success