We hear all the time that mobile is important for the future. This article by Shelly Kramer talks about teen usage of mobile, and why that matters to you even if your target market isn’t the teen market. So yes, your company needs a mobile website, a mobile app, etc, but what does that really mean? As you think about your direct sales company’s mobile strategy, here are some things to consider:
- Just because your website comes up in a mobile browser does not mean you have a mobile website. A mobile website is one that has been optimized for smartphone browsers. If what you see when you pull up your website on a mobile browser is just your regular website, you don’t have a mobile website.
Why it matters: If your website isn’t easy to see and navigate, people will go somewhere else. Your salesforce is very likely telling someone about your website right now while they’re out and about. If that person tries to pull up your website while they’re hearing from your salesperson, and the website isn’t easy, you are making the job of your salesperson more difficult.
- A mobile app without a strategy is pointless. Plenty of companies have or are getting a mobile app. But what’s the business purpose behind it? I feel like we’re treating apps the way we did Facebook Pages a few years ago. People are getting apps just because everyone else has one. But a well-designed app should bring measurable ROI to your organization. Will access to consultant tools enable your consultants to demonstrate higher productively levels? Will your mobile recruiting app with videos make it easier for your salesforce to present the opportunity and more likely that people will join? Will your mobile catalog make it easier to order, and thus increase sales?
Why it matters: Mobile apps are too expensive to have just because other companies have them. Not only do you have to pay for the initial development, but a good app needs updates as technology evolves. You must be sure you can measure ROI so you can justify the investment.
- Your barriers to entry will derail your mobile strategy. We are so good at barriers to entry in this industry. In our effort to assure the field that we are not competing with them, and that all orders will ultimately be credited (and paid) to a consultant, we are shooting ourselves in the virtual foot. Today’s web consumer does not have time for your extra clicks, and will not wait to be contacted by the consultant you assign. You just don’t matter that much to them. They’d rather go to your competitor or Amazon.com to find something comparable. And when it comes to mobile, it’s already a bit more challenging because things are smaller and a bit harder to navigate. Throw up a barrier to entry (such as a catalog I can’t order from or a form I have to fill out to be able to order) and you may as well not have even bothered.
Why it matters: Consumers expect mobile to make things easier, faster and more convenient. They want to accomplish things on the go. If your company sticks with the old way of thinking in this industry, your mobile experience will simply drive away consumers and create a negative impression of your company.
As the direct sales industry evolves, a mobile strategy is an essential component to growth. We are helping our clients develop mobile sites and apps with solid strategy behind them that justify the expense, and lead to measurable growth.
How is your company embracing the mobile market? Where do you see opportunities for growth? Would love to read your comments below.