A change in technology creates an opportunity for a business to leap ahead of its competitor.
A good example is mobile technology as it relates to the Internet and farm markets. Do you know that according to Televox, 94% of smartphone users search for local information? Or, that according to Internet industry leader Search Engine Land, 73% of mobile search triggers a follow up action of some kind?
There is a growing gap between those farm markets who know how to use mobile and those who are being left behind. Changes in this area are coming rapidly and it is easy to be confused on what is most important to act on now and what can be ignored.
Here are 3 emerging technology trends that should not be missed. The common characteristic of all 3 trends is that they make it easier and more convenient for your customer to do business with your farm market. Let’s look closer at these trends.
1. Mobile Payments: the consumer is slowly moving from paying only with cash, check or credit card to using only a smartphone as a method of payment. That means the payment is only by the smartphone. The consumer can keep their cash and credit cards at home. This new method of paying is expected to accelerate. eMarketer, a research firm, expects mobile payments in the United States made at the point-of-sale to grow from $3.5 billion in 2014 to $118.billion in 2018. Some of the current providers in this area are Square, Stripe and Google Wallet among others. However, there have been 2 game changing occurrences recently. The first is the introduction of Apple Pay which potentially could be the dominant player in the mobile payment category. A major feature of Apple Pay will be a fingerprint sensor that will be utilized for security purposes at the point-of-sale. Consumers will like the safety aspect of this. The second recent occurrence has been the decision by Ebay to spin off PayPal into a standalone company. We believe this will cause PayPal to be much more innovative than in the past and be a major competitor to Apple Pay. One major advantage to the cost conscious farm market owner is that PayPal may be less expensive to use than Apple Pay. For mobile payments to succeed with the consumer there will have to be ease of use and assurance that the process is secure. We predict that Apple and PayPal will be the 2 providers that every farm market should keep their eyes on. Your customer at the Saturday morning farmers market will expect you to be ready to accommodate mobile payments. Don’t let them down.
2. Responsive Web Design: at one time most websites were viewed on a desktop computer. That is not true any longer. Most viewing of websites is taking place on a smartphone, laptop or tablet. Do you know which device your farm market customer will be using to view your website? No, you don’t. Neither do we. If your website was designed years ago most likely it was designed to be viewed on a desktop computer. When your customer viewed that same website on a mobile device they ended up having to scrunch, pinch and slide the page to access information about your business. That sends a bad signal to today’s farm market customer that you are not serious about doing business with them. The solution is that your website needs to be re-designed using what is called Responsive Web Design. When this is done the website page being accessed by your customer automatically fits the page of the device being used to view it. No more scrunching or pinching. It also means more credibility for your farm market in the eyes of your customer. Use Responsive Web Design to update your website. It’s an easy way to differentiate from your competitor.
3. Correct Map Location: expect that your customer will be looking on their smartphone as they are driving to your farm market in the country for directions to your market. Also, expect that your customer will be looking on Google Maps for the correct directions. This is one of the first opportunities for the new customer to have a good experience with your business. There is only one problem and it’s a big one. Google Maps may have your market located miles from your actual location. We are seeing this happen all too frequently with farm markets located in rural Indiana areas. Google has good intentions and has a very sophisticated Google My Business program to help your farm market get found by your prospective customers. Google assumes they have your market positioned properly on the map. You will need to proact and verify that Google has your market located correctly. If it is not, here is the solution. Go to https.//support.google.com/maps. You will see a page titled “Report a Problem or Fix the Map.” Follow the steps listed and your map location problem should be remedied in about 30 days. Google Maps is at the heart of an effective mobile marketing strategy. Make sure the map to your farm is correct.
Today’s farm market customer expects an easy, simple enjoyable experience. By executing these 3 mobile technology trends you can look forward to your customer returning to purchase from your farm market all season long.