In the past, spontaneity has been often sought after, yet somewhat unrealistic, especially in terms of taking off on an unplanned weekend getaway. The thought of getting in the car and “winging it” used to make many people too anxious to actually go for it. What if there are no open vacancies at any of the Bed & Breakfast spots you pass? What if you end up in the middle of nowhere with no real food options. Or, what if you end up somewhere that is simply out of your price range. Back in the day, the next best option would be to bunk up in the back of the car, but consumers in today’s age now have the power of spontaneity right at their fingertips. That “power”, of course, being mobile.
No longer does the word “mobile” simply mean a cordless way to make phone calls when you are out and about. It isn’t even just about text messaging anymore either. With the technological advancements of recent years, mobile today literally means almost anything and everything you could think of, or need, while making that road trip.
Want to go away for a romantic weekend with your significant other, but want to leave in ten minutes? No problem! Start up the engine, throw some things in a bag, grab your phone and go for it. Not only are there hundreds of various mobile sites available to aide in your search of a place to stay, eat, or shop, but most even come with plenty of customer reviews, so you can get a real and true idea of what you may be getting yourself into, what others recommend, and other general feedback. Directions, tunes, reservations, shopping, reviews, coupons, deals, offers, museums, movies, amusement parks, and almost everything else you could possibly need to look up while on that road trip, or on any old Tuesday, is right there in your hands.
Yelp in particular offers consumer reviews on over 20 different categories, ranging from restaurants, arts and entertainment, health and medical, and even automotive. It’s not even necessary to type in a specific restaurant to pull up reviews. Once you arrive in the town you are in, simply type in that town, and then search whatever you’re in the mood for. It will pull up the most relevant searches, an idea on pricing, how many stars it received based on reviews, as well as the distance from where you are. Doesn’t get much easier than that!
Other sites such as Foursquare offer customer reviews and allow consumers to leave “tips” once they check into each place. For those that are indecisive, these sites should offer more than enough background information to help in the decision making process.
Both Yelp and Foursquare (and many other geolocation tools) offer the adventurous an even sweeter deal: savings! For the savvy innkeeper or merchant, you can claim your business on these either of these spots and offer mobile users an incentive for visiting your place, plus change it whenever the mood strikes you, say seasonally or when you have an inventory you’d like to move.
According to Google Commerce, 37% of consumers research items on their smartphone and then make the purchase online. It is no longer simply a convenience factor, but rather the power to do their own research, weigh the options and make an informed decision that motivates the consumers to utilize mobile in this way. This trend in mobile influence is still on the uptick, and businesses and consumers alike have only scratched the surface in the future potential of mobile marketing.Photo credit: Kazz.0