Over the course of the next few years, you can expect your business to run dramatically different, thanks in part, to mobile trends in small business. What does this mean for you and your business? Plenty! Whether it’s their smartphone, iPad, or laptop, consumers are on the move. If you’re willing to adapt to meet their changing needs, your business will flourish.
The Mobile Landscape: Predictions and Prognostications
More than half of small enterprises expect to integrate mobile marketing into their strategy...and for good reason!
- Business reviews are read by 56% of B2B clients on mobile devices.
- Mobile devices are used to conduct 72% of Internet searches.
- Product information and feature comparisons are conducted on mobiles by 55% of B2B customers.
- The purchasing experience is being streamlined by shifting from offline to online payments by 57% of B2B businesses.
- More consumers are using smartphones to make online purchases with U.S. mobile payments expected to grow to $142 billion by 2019 (Forrester).
- New businesses are being found through online research by 36% of consumers (Vistaprint Digital).
Solving the Mobile Strategy Mystery
Before deciding whether (or not) it’s best for your business to jump on the mobile bandwagon, it’s wise to exercise some mobile strategy “strategic thinking.” To avoid confusion, it’s worth repeating — mobile isn’t a tool. It’s a strategy that helps us reach our clients wherever they are. It truly does put your client first.
Ask yourself a few simple questions to determine an effective mobile strategy for your business...
- What business objective would your mobile strategy be tied to?
- What opportunities might your business be missing without a mobile strategy?
- Does your small business need a mobile strategy?
- What platforms are being used by your buyer persona to access your digital assets for search and/or buying?
- What other questions do you need to ask before making an investment?
- What is changing in the mobile world?
- How can your small business use mobile marketing and technology to meet consumers where they’re at?
- What current mobile assets does your business have in place?
The Essentials and Options of Mobile Marketing
In a recent survey of 1,000 US micro businesses (companies with fewer than 10 employees), Vistaprint Digital discovered that more than 25% are missing out by not taking advantage of marketing opportunities available to them.
Here are a few essentials, along with some options, for you to consider:
1. Responsive Website. Since Google implemented its Mobile Optimization Guidelines, a website that adapts to the different digital platforms (smartphone, iPad, desktop) is a must. Businesses without a responsive website may experience a drop in their SEO ranking or, worse yet, be eliminated from search completely. EEK! The Vistaprint Digital Survey noted that 45% of respondents (e.g., your potential clients) were unlikely to buy from a poorly designed website.
2. Responsive Email and Content. Knowing that 72% of all Internet usage occurs on mobile, it only makes sense to make sure all customer touch points adapt to their device.
3. Optimize Mobile Search. Forbes recently shared an interesting perspective on the importance of “tweaking” content for the mobile experience. When content is optimized around “micro-moments”, engagement and sales are greatly improved.
According to Forbes, the most common “micro-moments” are:
I-want-to-know moments: e.g., “What is the capital of Washington state?”
I-want-to-go moments: e.g., “Where is the nearest grocery store?”
I-want-to-do moments: e.g., “How do I cook a turkey?”
I-want-to-buy moments: e.g., “Adidas CourtVantage sneakers”
4. Location-based Keywords. Don’t you love the way Google finishes your sentences? Search for a “business coach” and Google adds “near me” as a search option. Armed with this snippet of information, make sure to take location-based keywords into consideration.
5. SMS (short message service) Marketing. Using permission-based text messages, consumers can keep up with special offers, new products, and the latest information from your business. Considering that open rates for SMS marketing on average are 98% compared to an average of 20% for traditional email, it may prove to be a gold mind. The average click-thru rate is also higher for SMS marketing — 36% compared to 6-7% for email.
6. Mobile App. A recent Gallup study reveals that 72% of Americans check their phone once an hour — 90% of the time through an app. This type of consumer behavior is driving the mobile trend for app development! Small businesses are expected to contribute to a triple-digit growth in mobile apps by 2018!
It can be challenging to think about the kind of app that makes sense for your business. However, if you do want to develop an app, consider this:
- What is your business meant to do?
- How can you do it better (and create a better experience for your client) with a mobile app?
7. Mobile Payments. I love Apple pay. In fact, I’ve gotten so spoiled that a purchase requiring the actual removal of my credit card from my purse, leaves a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. And, it appears it’s not only me. Consumers have become much more comfortable with purchasing online.
Mobile payment, like many of the other mobile trend essentials and options, creates a simple, seamless shopping/payment experience for the consumer.
Mobile this. Mobile that. It’s a lot of information to take in, isn’t it...until you consider your mobile experiences as a consumer. Then it all begins to make sense, doesn’t it.
Finally, a mobile strategy, like any other small business strategy, is not one that you can set and forget. Measure your improvements. Evaluate your results. Keep what works, eliminate what doesn’t, and tweak your mobile strategy until your business achieves the seamless integration and results you — and your consumer — desire.