How to Use Mobile Technology If You Are an SME

Updated on 23 May 2024

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Mobile technology is versatile and can help small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners in South Africa run their businesses. More than this, it assists with marketing, customer service and managing deliveries. If you’re not using this powerful tool in your pocket, perhaps you should.

The term mobile technology refers to portable, wireless devices like smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches that are used for communication.

With approximately 20-22 million smartphone users in South Africa, representing a third of the population, business owners are sure to already have a mobile tool in their toolbelt that can make their business grow. SMEs can incorporate it into their business to expand their customer base, streamline operations, and boost efficiency.

Here are ten ideas on how to use mobile technology if you are an SME:

1. Mobile Payments

After the COVID-19 pandemic, more people shifted from cash to payment technologies like Tap & Go. Offering mobile payment options reduces the reliance on cash and streamlines transactions. Consider using platforms such as Yoco and Zapper for seamless payments. Yoco is best for card payments while Zapper is best for instant EFTs.

2. Mobile Marketing

With the widespread use of mobile devices in South Africa (and globally), reaching a broader audience is easier than ever. You can connect with your current customers and reach new audiences through targeted mobile ads, SMS marketing, and social media campaigns on platforms like X, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.

3. Mobile Apps

By investing in a mobile app, you can create even more engagement with your customers, provide specialised services and build brand loyalty. Utilise platforms like AppSheet and BiznessApps. These apps usually include loyalty programmes and rewards for customers. The apps can send out notifications to customers informing them of promotions, this will drive sales and engagement for your business.

4. Mobile Commerce

E-commerce is still rising and its sister, m-commerce, should be an encouragement to SMEs to look into enhancing an online presence through an online store. Mobile commerce allows you to expand your store and bring it online, cut down on infrastructure costs and enable your customers to shop-on-the-go. Shopping on the go also means that customers can shop from anywhere – even while commuting on public transport or waiting for appointments.

5. Field Service Management

Running a business means being able to keep track of everything, everywhere and all at once. Utilising platforms such as QuickBooks and Zendesk, can help you keep track of field operations, track deliveries and employee shifts. This is ideal for employers who do more than run a business (two jobs) and entrepreneurs such as working parents.

6. Mobile Analytics

In today’s technological era, data holds huge value. By using mobile technology, you can access crucial insights into customer behaviour and preferences using analytics tools like Google Analytics, HubSpot, and Zoho Analytics. Google analytics has an app that can be accessed from your mobile device, giving you anytime access to stats such as what percentage of customers visits to your online stores/sites via mobile.

7. Mobile Communication

One of the ways of ensuring your business operations are flawless is to create an open line of communication between you and your team, as well as your customers. You can enhance team collaboration and communication with mobile-enabled tools and platforms like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom.

8. Digital Bookkeeping

Payment processing is now faster than ever before. Not only is digital methods much quicker than traditional pen-and-paper, but accessing these through smartphones means that business owners aren’t limited to physically handing invoices over to customers. Mobile technology can help ease the burden of sending invoices, tracking payments, and paying staff. Solutions such as PayPal, Xero, Stripe and Ozow can help make these processes effortless. Another benefit of keeping the books digital is that you always have a digital backup of your financial records in the event of a disaster (fire) to your physical store.

9. Employee Empowerment

It’s crucial that your team feels equipped to drive the business forward. By providing company laptops and cell phones, you ensure they have the right tools for increased operational efficiency, reduced costs, and better decision-making, without relying on personal devices.

10. Customer Experience

Mobile technology enables you to provide a more personalised shopping experience for your customers with tailored mobile ads and suggested products on your built-for-purpose app. By using other elements such as user friendly mobile payments, mobile customer support through WhatsApp for Business or even a single-use document such as PandaDoc sets you apart from the competition.

By embracing mobile technology, you can unlock new opportunities for your SME by improving customer engagement and staying ahead of the competition. Take action now and integrate mobile solutions into your business strategy. Start leveraging the power of mobile technology today and secure your business’s future success.

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