Monday, November 25, 2013

Why Every Local Merchant Needs a Mobile Presence

For local merchants, mobile is the new way to define their brand and their presence both on the web and in the streets (geo-streets that is). Having a domain name, webpage and company Facebook page is so last decade. Today every local merchant needs a mobile presences that connects them with their patrons with big dose of context.

The big challenge with mobile utility apps and social gizmo apps, that try to assist mobile shoppers or that hit customers with marketing offers and ads, is that they leave the retailer's brand behind and they end up fitting everyone into a Facebook universe or cram you into how FourSquare or ShopKick models the mcommerce world. These are all good apps, but they don't put the merchant in control nor their brand in the forefront, because the merchant does not own the app. Much like your website, every local merchant needs to control the experience that mobile shoppers have in their establishment, and not let some third party obscure their brand.

It is all about the merchant owning the app real-estate that is used to experience, Joe's Coffee Shop, while consumers are in Joe's Coffee Shop. This is why FourSquare and Facebook are struggling to enable the full potential of mcommerce. The answer is much like the way any merchant websites would work. As a local merchant, I want a website that I own and operate, I don't want to fit into someone else's ecosystem. It is great to have a merchant Facebook Page or to have a corporate Twitter handle, but the mobile app experience that shoppers have in your store should be something you as the merchant owns and controls, much like your website. It is part of your brand and your gateway for communicating and reaching your customers

Big and small local merchants need to define their own mcommerce experience and brand and not depend on the likes of ShopKick and FourSquare to define how they engage their local shoppers. This is in part why Facebook and others have not figured out local commerce yet.

Why can't every merchant have their own in-store app just like they have their own website? A mobile app is more than just code, it is a piece of real-estate in the respective app stores that engages the customer, just like a website represents a company (big or small) on the web. This is what OfferDrop is working to enable for all local merchants and establishment owners. Join OfferDrop today to get control of your mobile presence for your shoppers, while they are in and out of your establishment.