By Jerry Mooney

If you’re operating a retail business in 2016, you need to be embracing current technology. The retail space has changed over the last few years, and smartphones are now starting to dominate. They’re making a big splash in all sorts of ways, and now’s the time to make the best of them.

 

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, that’s OK. We’re going to take a look at a few reasons why smartphones are becoming so important.

 

 

#1

 

Payment Methods

 

The first thing you need to understand is that smartphones offer all sorts of modern payment methods. You’ve probably heard of NFC, which allows people to make payments directly with their phones. You’ll need a compatible sales tool in order to let customers use this feature, though. Smartphones are also taking over when it comes to online payments. Making sure your retail website is easily accessible from a mobile device will hopefully boost your profits even further.

 

 

#2

 

Integration With Sales Systems

 

There are a lot of ways to use smartphones to your advantage as a business owner, too. Of course, there are plenty of options if you’re looking to monitor statistics about purchase information. However, you can also use smartphones to take payments directly. In some cases, you can attach a card reader to your phone, for example. You might even be able to set up an SMS-payment system if you so desire.

 

 

#3

 

Marketing

 

As a retail business, your marketing strategy is crucial. Taking advantage of the possibilities with smartphones is an important consideration. Let’s look at QR codes. These are little barcode-type images that are free to generate. You can put them on your posters, websites and even on your company cars if you want to! Then, anyone with a smartphone can scan those codes to find out what they lead to. Normally, it’ll be your website or another avenue to purchase your goods. That’s just one example of many options that are out there.

 

 

#4

 

Social Media

 

No, social media isn’t limited to smartphones, but it’s very regularly consumed via these devices. Targeting social media is important, and you can find ways to do it with smartphone-based benefits if necessary. Maybe you can offer an incentive for customers to pay for in-store goods via their phones? Maybe you can encourage them to show you a smartphone-exclusive discount code to get money off their purchases? It’s totally up to you.

 

 

#5

 

Apps

 

Ah yes, apps. If you really want to get ahead of the competition, developing an app is important. Unlike a website, an app develops a permanent place on a user’s phone. And, crucially, you can send notifications to that person’s phone in conjunction with the app. It’s your own private space to do whatever you want, and that’s a huge benefit in terms of your marketing potential. Add the ability for consumers to pay for goods through the app, and you’ll be benefiting even more.

 

If your retail business hasn’t yet looked into the power of smartphones, it’s time to get started.

Jerry Mooney is co-founder and managing editor of Zenruption and the author of History Yoghurt and the Moon. He studied at the University of Munich and Lewis and Clark College where he received his BA in International Affairs and West European Studies. He has recently taught Language and Communications at a small, private college and owned various businesses, including an investment company. Jerry is committed to zenrupting the forces that block social, political and economic justice. He can also be found on Twitter @JerryMooney   

Jerry Mooney is co-founder and managing editor of Zenruption and the author of History Yoghurt and the Moon. He studied at the University of Munich and Lewis and Clark College where he received his BA in International Affairs and West European Studies. He has recently taught Language and Communications at a small, private college and owned various businesses, including an investment company. Jerry is committed to zenrupting the forces that block social, political and economic justice. He can also be found on Twitter @JerryMooney