The statistics for the growth of smartphones are surprising and exciting for businesses of all sizes. According to numerous industry sources, at least half of the owners of cell phones have smartphones. Briefly, smartphones, or smart phones, are devices which combine the features of phones, computers and personal entertainment devices in one small and unique package. Some sources estimate that the number of smartphone type devices will approach 7 billion in coming years. The earth’s current population is 6 billion. Even more surprising is the information that at least 90% of all smartphone users are actually using them to make purchasing decisions.
Smartphone mobile website searches are made to find restaurants, get data on a possible purchase and where to purchase it, where to shop for a local item and how to get there. A mobile website is becoming an absolute necessity if you want your business to remain competitive. The idea of discoverability is essential to the profitable use of a consumers drive for buying information. Being available online where the consumer is and when they are looking for what you sell moves them to buy from you.
Designing a mobile website requires some serious planning and expert execution. Remember that the small screen size necessitates an easily view-able content. Using fewer controls and back buttons is also a good idea since the chance of losing the site increases with more commands and user interaction. This also applies to the standard website since compatibility is necessary. Websites will need to be rethought for both small and large screens.
Selecting the most appropriate apps will place your mobile website where the consumer is most likely to look when making a purchasing decision. The number of apps in Android, Apple and other operating systems is literally mind boggling. Businesses tend to choose an app that their customers and those who they want to attract are most likely to already have on their device.
Consumer information gathering is changing rapidly. A typical example of this is when someone is looking for a restaurant while they are traveling in an unfamiliar area. They are craving a certain cuisine and want to find the best place that serves it, where they are located, what it costs and even place an order. The restaurant with a mobile site gets the business.
Retail customers seeking a certain type of product will want to know where the best price is, compare the value with other similar products and check for product reviews, perhaps from several review sites. They will want to know about availability, service and other customer service issues. The challenge for local retailers is to exceed the offerings of the other online merchants by offering exemplary customer service and price matching. Instant coupons and discounts will also enhance the appeal and likelihood of a purchase.
Adding a QR code will add greatly to the flexibility of the mobile website. QR codes can be placed just about anywhere and scanning with a smartphone will lead the shopper to the website automatically. It is a constantly available and almost universally usable form of passive advertising.
Business owners also will gain an advantage from mobile by using apps to conduct website analysis, use of calendar features, and being able to respond quickly to posts and comments on social media sites, all of which makes extremely good sense for a business. Being able to “watch the store” any time, any place is essential in the “round the clock economy” of today. Customer service will be easier when you can respond quickly and keep satisfaction at its highest point, thereby increasing the potential to attract more customers. Since satisfied customers share their experience by posts and comments, a business to client network will thrive and grow profitably.
The move towards mobile marketing is moving so rapidly that even marketers are struggling to keep up with current happenings. As the use of personal devices and the smartphone technology continues to expand, more opportunities will become available. The opportunities to reach more customers are multiplying daily. The need for a business to have a mobile website has never been so obvious. The technology is available and the ways to use it are unlimited. Mobile is the open road to profit.