As a small business owner, if you are not taking advantage of mobile internet then you are only reaching a small portion of the people who are online today. Mobile-enabled websites can give you immediate access to a captive, mobile audience in a way that targets them in a way that appeals to their up-and-on-the-go lifestyles.
The Importance of Reaching Out to Mobile Consumers
When I was growing up, if we wanted to find a small business we would turn to the yellow pages. We might see an advertisement in the local newspaper and be inspired to try out a new retail business or restaurant for the first time. And as television took over radio and newspaper, we relied on commercials for advice on which local businesses to use.
Today’s generation of mobile-equipped adults prefers something less tangible and more convenient, like using Google to perform their searches. During an episode of Coffee Talk, a popular podcast on the topic of Internet Marketing hosted by James Martell,founder of www.theschoolofinternetmarketing.com, James shared the following 2012 statistics about mobile-equipped users and how they access small business via mobile-internet.
- According to www.MorganStanley.com, more than 90% of all smartphone users have their phone within arms’ reach 24 hours per day, 7 days each week.
- www.Facebook.com reports that nearly 45% of their 900 million monthly users access the service from their mobile devices, and they are twice as active as non-mobile users.
- www.SearchEngineLand.com reports that mobile marketing is proving to produce more immediate results and a higher response rate than any other method of marketing available. While 9 out of 10 of those mobile searches lead to action, more than half of those lead to the user making some kind of a purchase.
- According to Google, 51% of local searches on a mobile phone result in a telephone call to the business.
- www.MobileMarketing.com reports that 70% of all mobile searches result in action within 1 hour.
People who Use Mobile Devices are All Over
No matter what people are doing, they all seem to have a smartphone or tablet in their hands – while sitting in the car and waiting for someone to join them, while riding the subway or other form of public transportation, while waiting inside the airport, or staying in a hotel. Mobile devices have permeated every aspect of our lives.
The primary reason why businesses give for not having a mobile-enabled website is because they have no idea how to make your own website. But WordPress makes it easy. The software is open source, which means it is free, and a lot of the plugins are free as well – including ones to create a mobile-enabled version of your site. Once you’ve mastered that, you can begin to reach out to the millions of people who use mobile devices.
Using Mobile Devices like Mini-Laptops
Using a mobile device is so convenient. For instance, if someone is inside a bookstore, they are more likely to access Amazon from their phone to read the reviews there before buying it. Even if they don’t use Amazon to buy the book and plan to make the purchase right there in the store, they will use Amazon to get information about it first.
The same goes for checking Yelp, Foursquare, and Google+ to find places to eat and check out the reviews for those places. Restaurants often add a menu to their mobile-enabled site, which gives them a boost over eating establishments that lack that feature. In fact, those looking up restaurants on a mobile device are more like to choose one that lists its menu items, or even just the daily special.
And if you are traveling through unfamiliar territory because of vacation or business, that’s especially important. It’s difficult to know who to ask for advice, and these websites offer unbiased reviews of small businesses. Those are much more reliable than the risk of asking someone with a personal grudge against the business or someone who works there.
Mobile Devices as a GPS Tool
In addition to researching reviews and finding names of businesses, another way that people are using their smartphones is for directions. When I search for something using my phone’s internet browser, I click the directions button which syncs to Google Maps. That app in turn acts as GPS leading me right to the front door of where I’m headed.
Consumers today are very mobile-oriented, and it’s not unusual for them to use their phone for every aspect of buying goods or services. And more internet-enabled devices are being sold than traditional PC’s, and why wouldn’t it be this way?
Mobile devices are less expensive than PCs, highly portable, and convenient because they don’t require all the accessories necessary to use a PC. The result of more mobile devices is that are sold the more people who are using them to interact with small businesses.
About the Author:
Freelance author Melissa Cameron works from home, which allows her to spend more time with her husband and their kids. As huge fans of Disneyland, her family enjoys vacationing there. When she isn’t working Melissa tries to find new ways to decrease her family’s carbon footprint – like drinking her Starbucks out of a reusable travel mug.