Why SMB’s Have No Time To Spare On Their Conversion To Mobile
4, 64 and 689 billion. Small business owners should take these numbers into careful consideration when determining where to focus their web presence and marketing efforts.
4 is the statistic that four out of five consumers are now using their smart phones for shopping.
64 is the percentage of app users who prefer brands with mobile apps.
689 billion is the estimated increase that shopping via smart phone will add to retail sales by 2016.
In fact, mobile is already the next huge wave in national and international marketing, and companies are scrambling to keep up. Just as cloud computing allows us to take our data with us wherever we go, people are now shopping from anywhere (and some prefer the simplicity of using their phone or device to make purchases, even when a computer is available).
The good news is that even one-person small business owners can take advantage of this new mobile cloud economy and stand out from larger competitors with some simple solutions.
According to Google’s published research, “75% of people prefer a mobile-friendly site, and 61% will turn to another site if they don’t find what they’re looking for quickly.“
Whether or not you have a website, if that site isn’t easily navigable from a smart phone, chances are you’re losing customers without even knowing it.
What makes a mobile-friendly site stand out from a standard website?
- The ease with which people can read it without zooming in
- How quickly they can find what they’re looking for
If you’re curious how your website appears on smart phones, Google offers a free viewer called GoMo (www.howtogomo.com) that comes with a report and personalized recommendations. And if your site seems awkward and hard to navigate, there are several platforms online that can help you convert your website to mobile cloud for little to no cost:
Mofuse: Starting at about $8 a month, Mofuse offers the option of building a mobile site yourself or having one custom built. Options range from social sharing to store locators, mobile optimization and analytics, Google and design tools and custom integration. The platform has been used by such companies as HarperCollins and the United States Department of State.
Mippin: Along with making your website mobile-ready, you can take your business one step further by creating your own business app with sites such as Mippin. For approximately $100 a year, Mippin can help you set up your mobile website as well as apps for iPhone and Android. And according to their website, they can help you create an app in about five minutes.
Mobify: If you’re looking for a higher-end mobile conversion experience, Mobify has been the go-to for companies such as the New Yorker, Starbucks and Men’s Health. Starting around $250 a month, Mobify can handle the creation and maintenance of your mobile site with testing, integration and launching all taken care of.
bMobilized: Though this site offers a free trial, the do-it-yourself version of bMobilized runs about $9 a month and comes with the option of installing more than 30 plug-ins along with homepage and mobile synching, content analytics, and content customization. If you don’t have the time to build a site, bMobilized also offers a we-do-it-for-you service for a $199 one-time fee.
DudaMobile: For a quick, down and dirty conversion for free, DudaMobile offers conversion tools, analytics and desktop to mobile sync. If you’re thinking about expanding, the premium plan runs around $9 a month.
Once your site is up and ready, there are several viewers available that allow you to check out how your mobile site appears on different devices. Apart from Google’s GoMo, sites such as iPad Peek allow you to see how the site looks to iPad users. MobiReady will check your site for common errors and rate different aspects on a scale of one to five. A more in-depth analysis is available with a subscription.
As more and more customers move toward making their purchasing decisions via mobile devices, creating a mobile version of your company website should be near the top of your marketing priorities.
Have you created a mobile version of your website or do you think your standard website is sufficient? Why? What conversion services would you recommend or advice against?
By Allison Rice
Allison Rice is the Marketing Director for Amsterdam Printing, a leading provider of custom promotional pens and other promotional products to grow your business and thank customers. Allison regularly contributes to the Promo & Marketing Wall blog, where she provides actionable business tips.