07 Aug 4 reasons Small Businesses ignoring mobile lose customer satisfaction
Article quoted on mrc’s Cup of Joe blog.
Nearly everyone can now attest to daily personal experiences where mobile makes life easier. From calling to texting and messaging, to searching for information and accessing apps that save you time and money, mobile places critical communications and productivity functions in your pocket and your fingertips. With mobile everywhere, businesses have the opportunity to connect with their customers more quickly than ever before. It presents a critical opportunity to gain exposure with customers, but even in direct advertising, the use of mobile lags behind how much online media is consumed through mobile devices.
Mobile officially surpassed desktop browsing at the beginning of 2014, and now nearly 2 billion people worldwide are using it daily to find information, do business and communicate with the people they care about. It’s share and growth will continue to such an extent that, by 2017, 90.1% of the global online population will have accessed the internet from their phones, and we’re seeing that people are increasingly depending on mobile to find and do business with others.
Mobile Internet: The New Consumer Gateway
With mobile growing to the point where it may dominate other forms of internet access, and altering consumer behaviour dramatically as a result, how are businesses meant to respond and invest in mobile internet and applications? First and foremost, mobile represents a competitive advantage for businesses who make the effort to be found online. Mobile search is something that too many SMBs in particular overlook, as over half of all mobile searches lead to a purchase. This could get even worse, since 2015 marks the first year local mobile searches will exceed those done on PCs.
Investing in responsive web design and applications for mobile can help businesses engage with customers who are looking to use their services, and businesses that fail to do so will lose out on search rankings. Mobile is truly a new consumer gateway, and failing to invest in it is particularly dangerous for businesses as evermore internet users and consumers defer to mobile for their daily activities, with 59% of all consumers using Google to find a reputable local business monthly, and 50% of all mobile searches used to find local results.
Ecommerce Loves Mobile
The power that mobile exhibits in enabling consumers to find businesses and make purchases can amaze, but part of mobile’s strength is that more purchases are being made online. While 78% of local searches result in a purchase, in Q1 2015 smartphone conversion rates and revenue per visit increased 135.7% and 147%, respectively. Tablets also exhibited healthy growth in conversion rates and purchases, while desktop rates declined by 12.1% and 8.9%, respectively.
However, It’s not necessarily new that mobile is king in the field of ecommerce. In the 4th quarter of 2013, 34% of mobile users conducted searches on products they intended to buy, and in 2014 companies like Amazon and Apple reported mobile conversion rates anywhere from 7-12%. Whether it’s through “impulse buys” or studious research, consumers seem to respond to something about mobile’s ability to make purchases, and investing in mobile represents perhaps the most outstanding opportunity for businesses to sell more products. We ask, jokingly of course, does anybody know of a business that doesn’t want that?
Consumers need a great mobile experience
It always helps for businesses to be found, and it’s important that they capitalize on the ability of mobile commerce to drive consumer purchases. Effective mobile design can make an overall contribution to both getting and retaining customers, and businesses that don’t invest in this use for mobile will lose out to businesses that do. For instance, 70% of mobile searchers are already using click-to-call to contact businesses, implying that a significant portion of mobile searchers demand features that allow them to interact with a business at a click.
As mobile consumers grow, so will the demand for the features that make their every click and scroll more efficient at engaging with a business, with 67% of consumers overall are demanding improved or mobile-oriented websites from SMBs within the next 12 months. That same study show a majority of consumers are also demanding Calls-to-Action like appointment booking and better feedback mechanisms that permit them to communicate with their businesses of choice. Developing Competitive opportunities lay for businesses that invest in areas where consumers want improvement, and mobile is at the forefront of those areas.
Benefits of mobile in business operations
Investing in mobile can also have effects within a business and not simply how they reach and relate to customers, and businesses seem to be incorporating mobile into their work regardless of whether they make an effort to or not. More than 8 in 10 small-business owners (SBOs) use mobile at least once per day for business while nearly 8 in 10 small businesses don’t have a mobile solution or application, a stunning contradiction that attests to how quickly mobile has snuck up on the business community.
Mobile is forcing its way deeper into the SMB workplace, with 26% of SMBs using social media marketing and document management apps, while similar numbers use expense trackers, inventory trackers and other operations apps. 65% of Small Businesses either agree or strongly agree that employing mobile technology within the workplace offers an advantage over the competition, while also celebrating the time-saving (62%), increased productivity (59%), cost-saving (29%) and business generation (22%) that mobile applications offer.
Sense of Urgency builds around mobile
So, as mobile transforms businesses from the inside-out, it seems that the benefits of mobile is not lost upon business leaders and SMBs in particular. 71% of SMBs feel that having an app would have a positive impact on their business, and in the same March 2015 study, most small businesses added that they would overcome those challenges and begin investing in mobile solutions within the year. With the overall understanding developing that investing in mobile is necessary for business to grow, what do you think the effect of ignoring mobile will be on businesses that don’t take steps to use it better?