Attracting and Retaining New Customers with Mobile Technology

Today's consumers are smarter, more empowered, and better connected than ever before. With competitors only a click away, few businesses are ever truly "The Only Game In Town" anymore, which makes attracting and retaining new customers infinitely more challenging.

The following is the latest infographic on how Merchants can leverage new mobile options to bring more customers in the door, and turn them from simple stop-ins to frequent patrons. If you are looking for additional ways to improve in-store sales be sure not to miss our free whitepaper on the "Top 5 Ways to Attract New Customers and Retain Existing Ones".

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Using Mobile Technology to Attract and Retain Customers 

Modern technology has given consumers more ways to conduct research on products and companies, place orders and conduct comparisons. Furthermore, with the proliferation of mobile technology, they are accessing information on a wide range of devices from far more locations than their home or office. Given the ease with which consumers can access information, attracting new customers and retaining existing ones has become not only more important, but also more challenging.

Statistically, businesses spend about six times more to acquire a new customer than it costs to retain a current customer. Recognizing this, many companies have begun offering loyalty programs to entice customers to return. In 2011, loyalty and reward programs generated about $300 million; by 2015, this number is projected to increase to $1.7 billion. In the U.S., the average household holds memberships in 18 different rewards programs, but members actively participate in only eight of those programs annually. This means that there is still plenty of room for merchants who have not yet launched or fully developed their own programs.

Loyalty programs that embrace mobile technology are expected to see significant growth as well. Approximately 95 percent of the smartphones sold during the last six months of 2012 were enabled with near-field communication, or NFC, technology. This secure, close-range technology is behind innovations such as the "tap and pay" credit cards, and many institutions have built apps that allow users to pay for purchases with their mobile device. Considering that about 55 percent of all U.S. businesses do not accept credit cards -- resulting in the loss of an estimated $100 billion in annual revenues -- the NFC technology can have a significant impact on the way customers make purchases in the near future. More than 100 million NFC-enabled devices were shipped during 2012, with an estimated 285 million shipping in 2013. 

Mobile technology also allows businesses to use NFC-enabled loyalty programs. Coupons delivered to and redeemed through the customer's mobile device makes it more convenient for both the retailer and the consumer. Delivery can be much more economical, and redemption can be faster and easier.

Businesses have even more reasons to embrace mobile technology. Mobile has already evolved into a major marketing channel, primarily because of the rapidly expanding number of device owners. Globally, consumers bought 821 million tablets and smartphones during 2012, and sales estimates for 2013 exceed one billion devices. To tap into this market, businesses spent $8.4 million on mobile advertising in 2012; this amount is expected to quadruple to $37 billion in 2016. The reason behind the increase in mobile advertising is simple: By 2017, it is predicted that purchases made via mobile devices will exceed $1 trillion.

In today's economy, few businesses have the luxury of being the only source consumers have. With just one click, consumers can move to the competition, and they may not return. Therefore, incorporating mobile technology with existing sales strategies can be an effective method of attracting new customers -- and keeping them once they have been acquired.