Almost everyone today has a mobile phone. Many of you who have a mobile phone have a smartphone. In fact, it is anticipated that in 2014 there will be 1.75 Billion smartphone users worldwide. One of the reasons for their popularity is that they are becoming more affordable and the 3G and 4G networks are continually expanding meaning fast uploads and downloads.
Search for Services
A high percentage of users no doubt see the smartphone as the quickest way to contribute to social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, but more and more people are using them to search for services, local public information and products.
Mobile Shopping on the Increase
Bearing that in mind, it is still surprising how many small to medium sized businesses do not or will not optimise their websites for viewing on smartphones and tablets, especially as statistics show that 32% of UK consumers make purchases from a smartphone. In fact, there has been a year on year increase for mobile shopping which businesses really can’t afford to ignore.
I know, I know, you’re a small business that really can’t afford to have a responsive website for your products or services. The real question is, can you afford not to? These days you can invest in a WordPress template that gives you this facility and much, much more. Plug in a shopping cart and you have a great e-commerce site at a relatively small expense. How to put a site together like this is well documented on the Interweb but if you really haven’t got the time, a reputable website company can put it together for you. So you see, you really don’t have an excuse not to improve your turnover and profitability.
Mobile Display Advertising
Of course, the website is only part of the answer: marketing is the next hurdle that will cost money, but spent correctly, it is money very well spent. Bear in mind that globally last year, mobile display advertising revenue increased by a massive 124%. This impressive increase was generated by a 92% increase in mobile search. There are a lot of people searching for your products, makes you think what could be doesn’t it?
More Interesting Shopping
It is hoped that this technology will lead to us seeing more independent retailers sprouting up in town and city centres as they provide a physical presence alongside an online one. That’s great news for everyone; we get more interesting shops with, perhaps, bespoke goods and a resurgence of far more interesting town and city centres. The net result is better sales as well as improved communities.
Of course, it doesn’t have to stop there, as a business you could develop your own app that can help build customer loyalty. You can offer discount codes or perhaps use it to gain feedback from your customers amongst many other things.
Here’s the Statistics
If you’re still not convinced you should be visible for mobile search, here are a few stats,
- Last year, smartphone sales were over 57% of total sales in the last three months of 2013.
- Worldwide sales of phones increased by 3.5% from 2012 to a total of 1.8 billion units.
- The top two smartphone brands are, unsurprisingly, Samsung & Apple.
- UK users of smartphones buy more via their device than the rest of Europe.
- Shopping in Britain via smartphone (and tablet) increased by 18% at the end of last year.
- Over half of the adults in this country own a smartphone.
Undoubtedly, the falling costs of tablets such as the sub £100 Hudl, as supplied by Tesco are bringing online sales to a much wider audience. These types of devices are also popular with “Silver Surfers” who, for a few pounds can enjoy a shopping experience from the comfort of their own home.
Smartphone and tablet use is only going to increase and if your business can’t be found by the latest iPhone or Android device, you seriously need to question your online marketing strategy.
Don’t be a dinosaur, get smart