THUNDER BAY – Tech Now – The Apple, Microsoft and Google’s of the world are in the process of convergence between their desktop experience with mobile, is your business doing the same for its communication strategy? The heavyweight software companies are merging their operating systems using cloud computing technology to sync customer experiences across multiple devices (i.e. desktop, mobile, tablet, and video game consoles). Most small businesses are not keeping pace and do not have a mobile marketing strategy to attract and maintain their customer base. Perhaps small businesses do not recognize the opportunity that is present in the mobile space, let me assist these companies:
- 8% of all digital traffic comes from smartphones and Tablets and is anticipated to surpass desktop traffic in 2015.[i]
- Most mobile phones will be smartphones in the US by the end of 2012
- In 2011, 29% of smartphone owners made purchases via their phone, by 2015 this is going to be 43%
- The proportion of smartphone users is even higher in developing countries we are looking to market our products and services to. For example 60% of people in India only use a mobile phone as traditional computers are too costly
- Mobile commerce is going to be worth $31 Billion in 2016, versus $6 Billion today
- Smartphone users have higher disposable incomes, 60% of households make more than $100K and are looking to buy/try your products
So with all this web traffic anticipated to come, with disposable income I might add, what are you doing to capture these prospective customers? This may seem like a daunting task but there are options for small businesses to compete. Hiring a developer to produce an iPhone app is costly, and research proves that 80% of people who download a corporate iPhone app use it no more than twice.[ii] However, a cheaper alternative would be to produce a mobile version of your website. Often times, your current website is not thumb friendly for the operating system of a mobile device. There is only one way to test and that is to search your site on a mobile device and decide if you enjoy the experience. In addition, visit your Google Analytics page to determine how many mobile visitors you are currently obtaining to analyze if it is worth your investment.
There are several website to mobile conversion applications available that start at FREE! Even if your mobile sales conversion is not there today, it doesn’t mean it won’t be tomorrow. Currently, 46% of customers use their mobile in-store and 41% research products on mobile devices before purchasing. If your current site is not attracting or maintaining this audience they will shop elsewhere. The mobile revolution is coming and is drawing parallels to when companies first initiated websites. However, it is important to note that mobile is a delivery platform and should be a part of a larger overall integrated marketing communication strategy. The mobile experience should also not just be limited to consumers, but B2B opportunities as well. Of all the SMBs that have built mobile-optimized websites, restaurants take the largest share at 28%, followed by professional services (16%), health and wellness (10%), travel and tourism (8%) and automobile and transportation (6%).[iii]
According to eMarketer, the average adult spends 10% of their media time on a mobile, but companies only dedicate less than 1% of their budgets.[iv] This demonstrates that companies with large advertising budgets are still uncertain what to think of mobile, opening up an opportunity for small innovative companies looking to gain an edge. One way of doing this is utilizing advertising mediums that restrict adverts to appear on tablets or smartphones ONLY ensuring you are hitting a demographic with higher disposable incomes. Those with higher disposable incomes, in most cases have a greater risk tolerance to buy from start-ups or trial new products allowing you to capture new customers. As many of you are aware, the majority of your customers who actually BUY have high disposable incomes (as they tend to buy more products in general) and are using these devices to browse your site and buy products. Keep in mind this only works if you have a mobile web platform to capture their attention and deliver the experience they are seeking.
The final advantage of mobile is that the platform can capitalize on location based emotional moments in a timely matter. If you have mobile commerce capability, a transfer of emotion from one person to another can instantly be captured with a few finger swipes resulting in a transaction at a specified location such as a retail store. Otherwise you are depending on them remembering you, going back to their computer, logging in, and buying. The mobile experience brings instant gratification to a busy world where it is difficult to stand out. In a time where standing out on the Internet is becoming more difficult, the mobile platform is providing a clean slate for your company to earn its mark with early adopters looking to buy your solution.
[ii] Untethered Conference, Toronto, Ontario, June 2012