Can you believe that some Internet users ONLY access the web from their mobile phones? Considering the explosive popularity the mobile market has experienced in recent years, it really isn’t that hard to believe.
While still in the minority, a significant percentage of internet users (approximately 25%) exclusively access the web through mobile devices. Whether due to preference or circumstance, these consumers do their browsing through their cell phones rather than more traditional desktops and laptops.
What does this mean for your business? With traditional marketing becoming less effective as targeted internet advertising gains popularity, companies that do not offer a web-based option will continue to struggle when it comes to attracting new business and retaining existing customers.
Extending conventional internet presence to include a site optimized for mobile users simply just makes sense. Most people are shocked to learn that consumers who are over the age of 65 make up a huge share of the mobile market.
As a matter of fact, many “mobile-only users” tend to be older – often folks who did not embrace new technology early on. This group found that the dual purpose phone/browser permits them to participate in the online community with a minimal investment of time and money.
With growing numbers, this population owns more than 75% of U.S. wealth, offering more buying power than the all of the younger, more tech-savvy generations combined.
Then, there is the younger generation who seem to be literally glued to their mobile phones at all times. They’re usually too busy to be tied to a desktop computer so they do most of their web surfing right from their mobile devices.
Attracting the “Instant Gratification” Generation
You already know that people search the Internet using their mobile devices today more than ever. But if your website is not mobile-friendly, your prospects and customers won’t be able to access it while on the go.
Don’t leave them hanging… Give them what they need in order to find and contact you on the fly using their mobile phones.
In fact, the market of the future is Generation Y – sometimes known as the Millennials, who were born between 1982 and 2001. (read about Gen Y at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Y)
Larger than the Baby Boomers at a strong 85 million members, their spending power will increase dramatically over the next few years as they complete their education and enter a period of rising income and household expenses.
Capturing this discretionary spending could take your business to a whole new level; and it is possible with a little smart marketing.
Many businesses fear that they can’t keep up with the “new” marketing trends. So they keep doing the same things they’ve always done, which is simply bad for business.
Generation Y consumers grew up with technology and they consider it a necessity rather than a luxury. Unfamiliar with such old-fashioned tools as the Yellow Pages and newspapers, this group expects instant gratification in the form of digital, on-the-spot access to any nugget of information that comes to mind – anywhere and anytime.
Consider this: Wireless customers downloaded 7.9 billion apps in 2010. At current growth, expectations are that these downloads will increase to a minimum of 25 billion by 2015.
Don’t Think Your Customers Are Using Mobile Internet? Think Again…
Many businesses still think their prospects and customers aren’t using their mobile phones to search for local products and services. Because of this, they neglect to mobilize their marketing efforts all together, which is a huge mistake.
Can you believe in the past ten years, U.S. wireless subscriptions have increased by a dramatic 254%, resulting in more active mobile devices than people?
More than 98% of the country has 3G coverage, and there are more 3G customers in the U.S. alone than in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK combined. In addition to that, economists predict that by 2016, total app downloads will surpass 44 billion.
With these numbers climbing every day, the most market-savvy businesses are rushing to join the mobile marketing community.
Mobile-friendly websites offer significant advantages over traditional advertising techniques, including immediate accessibility and improved customer engagement.
Have you ever tried to pull up your website on a mobile device? Did it take forever to load? Did it even load at all?
Some businesses don’t even take the time to check to see how their websites are showing up on mobile devices. However, chances are that you are missing out on a lot of potential business.
Potential customers no longer glimpse an ad and jot it down for later follow-up. Instead, through mobile websites, they can instantly obtain company information, place a call, and/or request needed information.
In fact, with Quick Response Code (QR code) technology and barcode scanners preloaded into the most popular phones, there is no need to type in a web address.
One click takes the customer directly to the desired webpage, where convenience and impulse purchasing result in more sales for business owners.
But if your website does not even load on their mobile device, you have pretty much zero chance at getting their business.
As far as mobile web users are concerned, out of sight is out of mind.
Is Your Business Obsolete?
Perhaps not, but if your marketing and branding are falling behind, potential customers may think so. Customers prefer to patronize companies that are convenient, easily accessible, and up-to-date on current trends in technology.
With 78.2 million smart phones or wireless-enabled PDAs in use as of December 2010, it’s obvious that consumers are developing high expectations around instant availability of information from businesses.
Take a glance around as you wait in line for groceries or sit in the doctor’s office. Your potential clients are filling small time gaps researching products, selecting services, and making purchases – right on their mobile phones.
From ordering pizza to securing a home loan, individuals complete their transactions anytime, anywhere… and they want only want to use mobile-friendly, user-friendly websites to do it.
You can capitalize on this preference by differentiating your business with a simply designed, easily navigated web page optimized for mobile use.
Potential mobile customers will flock to your mobile-friendly website and avoid the frustrations of your competitors’ slow-loading websites.
A last bit of advice: hire a professional to create your site. A skilled designer will ensure visitors have a user-friendly experience and will return again and again.
Mobile web searchers save and appreciate websites that are easy to view on their mobile phones. Nothing is more frustrating than waiting several minutes for a website to load – only to end up looking at a jumbled mess and unable to find the information you need.
The first thing people do when this happens is hit the “back” button to find a better, more user-friendly website.
Imagine how often this could be happening to your business…
Talk about money down the drain…
With a simple, mobile-friendly website, you can turn that around and start making your mobile prospects and customers happy to do business with you!
Can You Afford a Mobile-Optimized Website?
The more important question is can you afford NOT to have a mobile-optimized website?
Consumers are using their mobile devices on the go today more than ever. And they make instant decisions about where to spend their money based on how easily they can access needed information from their mobile devices.
When it comes to “easy mobile access,” mobile websites are one of the most important pieces of the mobile puzzle.
Mobile-optimized sites are designed to fit smaller screens, so users can see the most critical details on your website, such as location, price, and contact information… all in one glance.
Scrolling and navigating traditional pages on a tiny display can quickly lead to frustration, driving your customers away from you and to a more user-friendly option.
Mobile-optimized pages offer extra benefits if well-designed, such as “one-click” features that will help them make a call, find directions, or make a purchase without having to type in a bunch of words.
As with any marketing plan, there is a cost associated with the development of a quality mobile-optimized website. However, this cost must be weighed against the risk of losing patrons simply because they can’t find the data they want quickly enough.
As more organizations are turning to web-optimization to ensure a quality customer experience, those that do not meet consumers’ advanced expectations will be left behind.
Although it does cost money to get a mobile-optimized website, there are affordable solutions available. For instance, if you simply need a basic mobile site where users can easily find your information, you may be able to get a mobile website for a just a few hundred dollars.
However, if you need a more robust mobile website with advanced features and options, you may spend quite a bit more.
Whatever the cost, the benefits will surely be worth it. Not only will you generate more leads, customers, and repeat business, but you will also have a sound mind knowing that you’re not neglecting a huge portion of your consumer market – the mobile market.
As you can see, catering to the mobile-only preference is a very smart way to hone your company’s competitive edge. Making sure your business website is “mobile-friendly” is the first step. Without it, you’re missing out on a lot of new and repeat business – bottom line.
One of the services that I offer is creating mobile websites that are integrated with your existing web site, making it a seamless process for the mobile user. They simply go to your existing web site address (the address that you have invested time and money in!). My technology recognizes that a mobile device is trying to access the website and quickly redirects them to a mobile optimized site that opens in their phone’s browser.
Here are a couple of examples: http://www.MBSalonSpa.com and http://www.ExecutiveBaseNetwork.com. Visit them with your computer’s web browser, then key in the same addresses on your phone’s web browser. You’ll be redirected to the mobile sites which are optimized to provide the information that people want most while mobile browsing, and they will load very quickly to boot.
If this is something that you’d like for your business, drop me a line or leave a comment. I’ll be happy to spend 30 minutes with you for free to answer your questions and to give you an idea of what your investment would be. Not all websites are suitable for this, and I am a small volume provider, so act quickly or you might get left out!