Mobile-first is no longer the future, it’s the reality. The UK boasts one of the highest smartphone user penetration rates in the world, a figure which is expected to exceed 80 percent this year. Smartphones are completely integrated into everyday life, whether it is for online shopping, Internet banking or keeping in contact via social media, the ‘always-on’ generation demands immediacy and speed of service. This is especially the case when it comes to engaging with a brand, where 82 percent of smartphone users are turning to a search engine when looking for a local business. In such a mobile-focused generation, it is crucial to ensure your business is mobile-ready so you do not lose out to competition.
Mobile usage has, for the first time, surpassed desktop usage, reaching 51 percent across the globe. It comes as no shock then that smartphones now account for almost half of web traffic (46.5 percent), against five percent for tablets. With 40 percent of online purchases expected to be made by a mobile device by 2019, those who have not already optimised their website for mobile, are missing out on a huge business opportunity. If a small business isn’t embracing its presence on mobile, it will not only be losing out to competition, locally and across the country, but will no doubt be missing out on retaining customers and acquiring new ones.
It’s not just a case of embracing mobile but making it successful too. Details are key. For example, one in three of those searching on a mobile will jump to another business’s website if they are not presented with a click-to-call option on the website. The understanding of consumer behaviour and brand interaction goes hand in hand with the digital technology itself. To stand out and compete in an increasingly fluid and progressive landscape, five key steps need to be taken now to go mobile with success.
1. Be online – If your product or service suits it, make sure people can buy it or book it online. You may think that people will come to your shop if you’re friendly and local but chances are, they won’t. They’ll buy online if they can.
2. Be mobile – Don’t just think mobile, think tablet too. Responsive design is key – some of the best, big brand sites struggle to make their site look good for tablet devices and it can cause people to buy elsewhere.
3. Be informative – People are comparing their choices online so tell them what they need to know by writing an effective product description. Why is this product better than others on the market? Why should they buy from you and not someone else?
4. Be an expert – People are seeking advice and you need to ensure that you can tell them everything they need to know. This is a tricky subject for a lot of people and there are hundreds of articles about the best way to do more content marketing effectively – do it right and you’ll kill two birds with one stone, because you will likely end up ranking higher on Google. Use videos on your website as well as an advice centre or blog spot. Be open, honest and transparent as much as you possibly can.
5. Be there to inspire – Be there in the awareness and pre-awareness stage of the buying cycle by using banner advertising, in-app advertising and social.
The important takeaway from this is “get mobile-ready” and make sure you’re not losing out!