Mobile technology has revolutionized every aspect of our lives. The devices that once were used for nothing but phone calls can now bring us news, weather, entertainment, and all the offerings of the internet. It was no surprise that shopping would eventually find its way to mobile devices, and now the industry is in full swing, leading the way in retail trends for small business.

For retail entrepreneurs, it’s essential to know your way around mobile technology and to find a way to make the most of what it offers. Assembling a strong strategy for mobile commerce requires a good understanding of what choices you have for getting consumers to shop with you on their phones. Once you understand the unique challenges of mobile marketing, you’ll be ahead of the competition.

Predictive Search

No matter the sales conduit, it’s fairly easily to find a product when you know exactly what it’s called. Typically you can maneuver through various links on a website to locate it, or in a store, you can normally find an employee who will direct you to the item you’re seeking.

But that simplicity fades away if you aren’t quite sure what you’re looking for. Is it a condenser or a compressor? Is that color “winter mist” or “winter dawn”? With countless products available through most online retailers, the search would be hopeless.

Enter predictive search. When the app or website can take the first few characters you enter and start suggesting options, you have a much better chance of clearing the clutter and zeroing in on the exact item you need–and far faster than any human employee could manage in a brick-and-mortar store. And because mobile users don’t want to do a lot of typing, predictive search really helps.

Search Engine Optimization

Besides predictive searches, there are other ways to bring consumers to you first. Obviously the easiest way to do this is to get them to download your app and make it their go-to tool for buying the products you offer, but the next best technique is to guide their internet search to your business ahead of all the other results they’ll get. That’s especially important with mobile users, who don’t want to do a lot of typing.

This is done with search engine optimization (SEO). It’s a great strategy to help you appear higher on the list of results when someone does a search. Think of it like running a marathon. You’re one of thousands of runners, and you want to do what you can to get yourself to the front of the pack. To achieve that, you need to train harder, get hydrated and nourished, and have a great strategy to outrun the rest. When your website does those same things, it will appear in those critical first few results and get more taps–and more sales.

Utilize The Unique

Back in the heyday of glossy paper catalogs, retailers could only provide limited views of a product. Most things would feature one, occasionally two pictures. Mobile technology has left that in the past.

With the only limitations being the user’s data plan (easily bypassed with wifi), retailers can now offer countless photos of their products, giving potential buyers the opportunity to see just as much on a phone as they can in person. With 360-degree viewing tools, users can even pan their way around the product and look closely at any feature they want.

The result is that buyers no longer have so much to beware of. They can see every angle and side that they want, quickly and easily, and they don’t have to concern themselves with the prospect of an unpleasant surprise when their item arrives.

Marketing for smartphone users isn’t just a smaller version of marketing for computer users. Mobile devices have special considerations that call for specified strategies. When you implement those, you’ll get customers to choose your products when they’re shopping via mobile.