New tactics for attracting online customers in mobile-first era

By Rohit Talwar, CEO, and Steve Wells, COO, Fast Future

How can we reach larger audiences and get exponential growth online when it seems so complicated?  Let’s look at some practical tactics for you next steps.

  1. Your digital mindset

You need to develop a digital mindset. This means taking every opportunity to learn what others are doing online. Seemingly basic questions can yield powerful insights.

Is there value to be gained? What proportion of revenues come from online sales, how has that changed since they started selling online, how much comes from mobile, how does profitability compare to other approaches, what have they spent on developing and running their online offering, what are their future online targets?

How have they got to where they are today?  What are they doing today, what tactics worked and which were abandoned, what external support did they use, how are they driving people to their site, what does their ‘conversion’ process look like from interest to purchase, what would they do differently if starting again, and what do they plan to do next?

How do they manage online sales?  Who’s in charge, what resources are involved, how do they manage tensions between the online and physical sales teams, has that, and what’s the next phase?

  1. Focus on mobile

Our online access is increasingly via our mobiles. With devices getting ever-smarter this is set to continue. To develop your online offering you need to understand the likely trajectory of development.  Many now design their website and app to work on mobile devices first. The bigger screen comes second.

With connectivity speeds increasing it will be ever easier to share video information about our products and services. Devices and apps will also get more intelligent – smart software will increasingly block unwanted ads and screen incoming callers on behalf of the user. What are the critical messages that you want to convey to get you past these electronic guardians?

  1. Experiment

Your web team need to enjoy learning, testing and refining ideas. They’ll be tough-minded and willing to drop projects that aren’t delivering. If step-change is your goal, create a plan of actions to try –promotions and banner exchanges, social media campaigns and low-cost sponsorships. You need a 3-6 month schedule of activities to try each month. Measure, learn and adapt.

Everyone in the business should be encourage to research for new ideas as well as contributing their own. Let them know your fears – e.g., irritating customers, damaging your reputation or losing out to your competitors. If you are open your team can be creative in ideas to address them.

  1. Are you seeing the gorilla?

Where are your potential customers? There are large audiences everywhere: shopping centres, sporting events, festivals, markets, airports, train stations. Use pop-up stalls in these venues. You can try out a variety of ways to meet and engage potential customers.  If  they share their details you can build on the relationship.

The keys to success lie in constant learning, asking the right questions, recognising how the technology is evolving and planning accordingly, and deploying the right people. Success also requires us to be clear on our goals and concerns, and then adopting an iterative, experimental and constantly evolving approach both to what we actually do online and how we go about attracting potential customers.