Are smaller brands missing the mobile bus?

Small brands are still shying away from the mobile ecosystem due to its 'complex' image. exchange4media analyses the elements that can motivate these brands to incorporate mobile in a more aggressive way

e4m by Saloni Surti
Published: Sep 19, 2013 8:58 AM  | 3 min read
Are smaller brands missing the mobile bus?

With the growing base of mobile users in the country, brands are implementing strategies to tap this medium in a more bullish way. What started as promotional messages and missed call to vote, is now an independent economy with elements such as apps, VAS, in-app and mobile sites.

However, one cannot fail to notice that it is only the big names that cross the line to mix up with the much enthusiastic youth and other TG through mobile. While few outlets may be seen taking the mobile number of their consumers, very rarely is the data being leveraged. exchange4media takes a look why are small brands still shying away from the mobile ecosystem?

“For a mobile solution to be developed and deployed, the cost and complexity involved are high leading to project overruns and hindering small businesses from adopting mobile,” explained Vishwanath Alluri, Founder and Executive Chairman, IMImobile.

Small brands often steer away from the medium because of its ‘complex’ image. Not only do they find the data baffling, they are also not usually aware of the ecosystem beyond messages and missed calls.

“The need of the hour is a multi-channel, unified and integrated platform that supports smartphones as well as basic feature phones. Such a platform can curtail these intricacies, besides enhancing the end-user experience. Such a platform has to be delivered with a cloud-based software-as-a-service delivery model,” added Alluri.

Better late, than Never!
With increasing competition and the arrival of FDI, it has become imperative for small brands to update. Brands need to try and instill mobile at every step of the shopping experience, making it consumer friendly and fun at the same time.

Brands can look at solutions such as SMS, MMS IVR, USSD, OBD, missed calls, and smartphone applications; besides, mobile web portals and in-app push notifications can also help small businesses reap higher benefits.

To begin on the mobile route, there are a few elements that can help small brands to incorporate mobile in their traditional way of functioning…

Create a mobile WAP site: While retail brands manage to create digital presence, they can customise their sites for mobile experience and offer basic services through it.

Mobile payment: Small brands can adopt the system of mobile payment and also accept orders through mobile (through SMS, App or Site). Integrating mobile at end points makes the process more sophisticated without creating drastic changes for consumers.

Gamify your loyalty programme: Loyalty programmes no longer enthrall consumers like before. Thus, brands can add gamification elements by creating an app where consumers can keep tabs on the purchases made by them. Also, they could introduce features such as ‘Product of the day’, on the purchase of which consumers get extra points.

Keep it simple and small: In the process of adopting mobile, retailers do not need to create complex systems that make consumers’ and their lives more difficult. Small and simple procedures such as basic apps or shop map on mobile could be used in the beginning.

Reminder medium: Keeping in mind the nature of cellular phones and their use in the country, it serves best as a reminder medium as the chances of the message getting lost are low. Reminders through messages, app reminders or missed call reminders for sales and new stock can be used.

Create personalised experience: Mobile implies a lot of data. The basic use of data could be in creating personalised services for every consumer. For instance, sending a reminder around the tentative date of the month when the customer usually comes or informing when the preferred stock of a consumer arrives.

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