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GUEST OPINION M-commerce has arrived, but how can you make money with it?

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Stefano Colonna, CEO of Dynamic Fun – makers of the easy to use Myvolo Shop m-commerce in a box software – obviously believes in m-commerce, but recognises that not everyone can clearly see how they can make money from it. Here he talks us through his vision…

Let’s start with two things we all know: mobile phones can now browse really well and can handle wonderful and good looking applications; and e-commerce is growing fast, despite the crisis and everyone is interested in beginning “real” sales in a new channel that sees million of users.

So we have capable phones, we have learnt from the web how to handle digital sales, what do we need to do to boost our sales via mobile? And the first answer is: fear the ones that just say “we already sell via mobile to people browsing our web store via iPhone” or those who say “we just need a lighter version of our web site and we’re already working on it”.

No. Mobile commerce is something different.

Can you imagine buying an expensive flat screen TV via mobile? Or a three week vacation? I think that even the smartest and most m-commerce savvy users would never undertake that.

But … can you imagine receiving an SMS on Wednesday, while you go home, that says something like: “Hi [your name], a romantic weekend for you and your lover in NYC: 50% off, available only for the next 2 hours, click here to buy [link] or call 1-800 –or text [something] top short code code 123”?

This is the essential of mobile commerce. It’s not sales, it’s impulse sales. It’s not price comparison, it’s you take it now or you’re missing it forever.

If you believe in such approach the concepts of “deal of the day”, “new arrival”, “hot discount”, … make sense via mobile: mobile is emotional and you want to work on that.

Therefore you don’t have to create a detailed mobile site where people loose focus while trying to browse, you don’t have to present a ton of products like you do via web, you don’t want people to look for information, price comparison and much more: you just want to be a brand they know and trust, a quick path of no more than 2-3 clicks to buy that “exact” product and an aggressive offering dedicated to this peculiar channel.

And to do this you need two things: an easy platform capable of creating your mobile store optimized for all phones (not only iPhones can buy …) and managing your mobile campaigns to be as aggressive as you feel is right. You also need a person that dedicated to doing this. Mobile commerce is not “make it and they will come”. You need to think mobile, to create limited promotions, to use your database with geolocalization taste and to analyze conversions (do we convert more in selling football hats if sending an SMS campaigns after your team has won or in a normal day?)

If you feel comfortable with the platform you can then create your mobile commerce strategy and learn day by day how to improve your conversions into sales.

And remember: one thing is creating a mobile store optimized for all phones, with an iPhone and Android application with the same look and feel. Another thing is to boost your sales, speak in a “mobile way” (emotional, but not too pushy), choose the correct products, make the most intriguing promotions and look how people react.
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