Mobile wallet strategies should be a key to your overall mobile implementation for 2017.

Now that 2016 has officially been declared the “year of mobile”, it’s time to start working on some real world mobile wallet strategies and implementation ideas for 2017 – if you want your business to succeed, that is.

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If you’re still thinking old school, and not really sure why you need or want to implement some mobile wallet strategies, you’re not alone.  Let’s do a quick review of the reasons that make mobile so important to your advertising and marketing plans for the new year:

#1 – Google loves mobile.  That’s right.

The big G has been pushing the #MobileFirst, #MobileMoments, and #MicroMoments hashtags for the majority of 2016.  Don’t forget Mobilegeddon while you’re at it (of course your site is either optimized for mobile or utilizes responsive design so it passes the mobile test, right?)

We did a quick test on this site, here are the results –

google mobile marketing strategies

If your site isn’t passing the mobile friendly test, fix that ASAP.  Otherwise you’re giving away organic search traffic to your competition.  Bad move.

#2 – People love mobile.

More than half the world is using mobile right now.  Odds are better than 50% that you’re reading this article on a mobile device (tablet or phone).  Search starts on mobile.  Email is being read on mobile.  Shopping results for the 2016 holiday season are showing more mobile users buying things (and with roughly $125 per average ticket, that’s a lot of buying on mobile) on their mobile instead of waiting to use a desktop to finish their purchase.

#3 – There will be a growing hostility towards “un-mobile” businesses.

It’s just way too easy to use a mobile phone to do things, and the more that people are able to do using their phones, the more hostile they will become to tasks that aren’t mobile friendly.  In the same way that so many people refuse to make a phone call (preferring to send umpteen texts instead), they are going to become hostile to sites, businesses, and simple tasks that can’t be completed on those mobile devices.

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As users who grew up with technology become more consumption oriented and affluent, they’ll continue to use mobile to drive the economy forward.

How can you become mobile first and why should you use mobile wallet strategies to help with this goal?

Well, since you asked (you did ask, didn’t you?), here are three simple ways to make the transition simply and without breaking the bank:

#1 – If you haven’t updated your site to be mobile friendly yet, now is the time.

Do it yourself (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal) or hire someone to do it for you.  If you keep the minimum pages that you need to showcase your product or service – remember that mobile doesn’t need a bunch of pages anyway – it should not take that much time or money to accomplish.

#2 – Google My Business, Facebook Business Page, LinkedIn Business Page, etc.

Get your social and search profiles up to date with the correct info like your business hours, service areas, and accurate descriptions of your products or services.  This is critical.  The vast majority of searches on mobile (which are the vast majority of searches BTW) include the phrase “near me”.  This means that someone who is 5 blocks from your business is much more likely to see your business as the top result in search if you have set up the Google and social pages.

#3 – Mobile wallet advertising is so much more effective than mobile app development, at a fraction of the cost.

Yep, you read that right.  It costs as little as $40/month to implement multiple updates, coupons, lock screen notifications and announcements as part of your mobile wallet strategies.  It costs about $10,000 to develop a crappy app that no one will use.  You do the math.

When you use a mobile wallet to advertise, you are leveraging the power of Apple, Android and other tech companies, far beyond what you could (or would) want to afford to pay for on your own.  You’re also utilizing their distribution networks (did we mention that every iPhone comes with Apple Wallet as part of the factory install of iOS?), so you can focus on the message instead of the medium.

This is critically important for small to midsize businesses.  It’s hard to build an app, and even harder (and more expensive) to distribute it.  If you haven’t already got about 100,000 customers then you’re never even going to break even, much less see a profit from it.

Going with a mobile wallet also means that you’ll be able to use location and proximity triggers to send lock screen notifications to your prospective customers, asking them to take action on your promotions, share your message with their friends and co-workers, and interact with you to help create the messages that will cause them to want to do business with you.

So simple, really.