Every day, more and more people are using their mobile devices to go online to find local businesses. Mobile Web usage is absolutely exploding. In less than three years, more people will access the Internet via mobile devices than from desktop computers.
This shift in consumer behavior has huge upside implications for small businesses. Is your business ready for it? Do you have a mobile-friendly website? Remember, just because your regular site is visible on a mobile device doesn’t mean it’s mobile-friendly. Mobile sites are designed specifically for the small screen. They are quick, easy to navigate and “thumb friendly,” which means they use large, centered buttons with “breathing room” to prevent accidental clicks.
The best mobile-friendly websites make the mobile experience local. Since customers are constantly seeking local information on their phones, your mobile site should make it quick and easy for people to find you. That means it should have your address or some kind of locator right on the landing page, with directions and a map.
Still not convinced? Here are three reasons mobile is a must for local business:
1. Mobile-friendly websites create positive customer response. Today’s consumers use their mobile devices more frequently than ever, and have high expectations for the mobile sites they visit. If your mobile site provides a good experience, it will help drive revenue for your business. Research shows that 51 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that has a mobile-friendly website.
2. The time to move is now. You’ve been hearing about the potential of mobile for years. Now it’s here. For example, one third of all searches for restaurants now happen on mobile. Smartphones are now a part of people’s daily lives. Studies commissioned by Google show that 87 percent of smartphone owners use their devices on the go, or while commuting and walking. And here’s an eye-opener: 93 percent of consumers now use their smartphones at home. Local businesses with mobile-friendly sites can take advantage of these new consumer habits and reach customers wherever they are throughout the day.
3. Mobile offers immediate gratification. With a “click-to-call” feature, a “clickable” phone number allows customers to reach your business with one touch. Customers are hungry for the kind of information that makes it easy for them to contact you and get to your business. •