20 years ago, digital / internet technologies only needed to be a thought for a tiny number of organisations. The internet was only in its infancy and with the exception of a few educational establishments, small businesses didn’t have to consider it in any way, shape or form.
10 years ago, we’d taken a huge leap forward. E-mail was expected by everyone, a website was pretty much seen as a requirement for any business wanting to see success and for those forward-thinking small businesses, dipping their toes into the waters of the burgeoning internet social world was a positive move.
5 years ago, Facebook and Twitter were almost seen as necessities, we were at the stage where if you didn’t have a website, you weren’t really considered to be in business and new technologies and resources started to become available by the day.
Today, small businesses have all of that to contend with, but with it being much more of an important point to take a look at the new technologies. With the majority all being able to have some positive impact, you have to research and analyse which ones are going to be of most benefit to your small business, as there are only a few that are universally extremely beneficial.
Mobile web, however, is one of them.
But the problem is, although it really can be vital to your small business seeing the most success possible today, there are still so many small business owners who don’t realise it – and when you don’t realise it, you can’t act upon it, meaning you can’t see the numerous benefits that so many others already are.
Although there’s a huge amount to talk about when it comes to mobile web, everything comes back to the fact that as we’re becoming a world reliant on smartphones, we’re naturally becoming a population who live our lives via mobile web.
We use our phones to check our e-mail. We play games on our phones. We use them to find directions. And as natural progression would have it, we’re starting to use them to search the web for information. In fact, some surveys are stating that up to 95% of smartphone users use their phone to find out information on local businesses, something that has a heavy influence on their buying decision.
Take another popular study of recent times, the Orange Exposure Report. Focused on the UK market, it found that almost a third of smartphone users made a purchase on a mobile device. That’s around 30% of your target audience who made a purchase on their phone – and 30% of your audience who you’re missing out on if you don’t have a website optimised for mobile web.
Beginning to see the importance yet?
What you need to understand is that we’re in the same position with mobile web that we were in with websites in general about 15 years ago. Websites were becoming increasingly popular, but plenty of people were digging their heals in, saying they didn’t need to invest and could carry on seeing the levels of success they were without a website.
And for many, they did – but they were soon forced into developing a website, as their competitors who already had were gaining the advantage. They’d realised that consumers were searching online for information and without a website, they’d eventually end up being an unknown brand.
While that won’t happen today, if you don’t have an effective mobile web presence, you’ll become a brand with several negative connotations associated to it. Never going to go away until you take the necessary steps forward to become a brand fully embracing – and ultimately benefiting from – the mobile web experience, whether you believe the figures yet or not, the simple fact is mobile web really could make your business the success you need it to be.