Did you know more than half of people make purchases through their smartphones? In fact, mobile commerce sales grows 15% year over year, which translates to over $60.8 billion worth of transactions (Source: HubSpot). Even with these astonishing numbers, businesses are playing catch-up to consumers when it comes to mobile. It’s time to get serious and reach your customers at this critical interaction point.


Below are five key platforms we recommend you use to be relevant in the mobile age.

1. Mobile applications

We understand mobile apps can seem daunting. But they don’t have to be. With today’s technology tools, creating an app is relatively easy and inexpensive. Some basic platforms can be created for just a couple hundred dollars. If you put into perspective the ever-rising popularity of these platforms (projections are stating 102 billion app downloads this year alone) and the direct interaction they have with your guests, the expense is worth it at almost any price.


2. Mobile website design

Reading a website on your phone that doesn’t have a mobile setting is impossible. Making a mobile version of your site or moving to a responsive layout will change that in a big way. If you are unable to develop a mobile app, this is a viable solution.


When you use a responsive design layout, your website is automatically customized to the screen resolution of whatever device a given customer is using. On a mobile device, your normal website layout will be a reconfigured version so information is organized for easy use. The most important aspects of a great mobile design include easy-to-read text, clear images, plenty of space for clicking, and filtering options to cut down on searching and scrolling. Use simple design but rich content to keep them coming back to see your updates.


3. Social media

Many nightclub owners have stated their 2014 resolution is to be more involved in social media. It’s no doubt why: 98% of people ages 18-24 are active on social media, and the numbers don’t fall that much with the higher age demographics. Yes, even your grandparents are posting pictures of their vacation on their timelines. In fact, your guests are probably checking their feeds right now.

Social media has changed the way people interact with their friends and peers. It’s now instant, continual, and all at the click of a button. What’s more is people are now making purchases directly on social media platforms. It’s one of the best areas for you to get involved. Just make sure your content is mobile worthy with real time calls to action.


4. SMS/Text-Messages

Getting your guests to interact with you via short codes and other SMS marketing techniques are a must. The instant nature of the interaction leads to real-time results that you can measure. On top of that, it’s a more personal, individualistic way to promote your business directly to your audience. As always, make sure your message is clear and worthy of interaction.


5. Email

Similar to SMS, email marketing is a personal, timely way to market your venue. Almost every smartphone user integrates their email into the device to stay on top of important information. The possibilities for email are vast, from personal promotions based on habits to newsletters to keep them apprised of your top news. Either way, keep the body of your email short and simple so you don’t lose them. And always include a clear call to action, especially in your subject line. People are more likely to open, read and respond to emails that drive them to take action.


The most cost effective form of marketing with the highest return on investment is right in front of you and easier to implement than you think. Go mobile or suffer the consequences.


John Wickes is an advisor for Bookbottles.