by Ian Simpson

November 12, 2013

We are a nation on the move! Nowhere is this more apparent than in the growth of mobile commerce. In business and social situations smartphones and tablets are increasingly indispensable. We need to be in touch for business information, but hey, in the quiet times  - let’s shop!

You can’t afford to ignore the importance of mobile optimisation if you are to survive and flourish in today’s markets. The web drives sales both directly and indirectly, and there is a greater use of social media channels for both personal and business marketing. In order to target your customers effectively you have to consider the types of devices that your digital media is viewed on. And this includes websites, email, digital publications and social media.

With more than 70% of the UK population owning (and using) smartphones and with tablet use growing at a phenomenal rate in the last 12 months, businesses must wake up to the crucial need for mobile-optimised websites and email.

For the vast majority of the population, and not just the young, a smartphone is seen as an indispensable component in their lives. It gives them freedom and yet ties them to the things that are important in their lives; friends, socialising, entertainment, shopping. This seamless lifestyle-integration has never manifested itself in any other piece of technology; life is a smartphone, a smartphone is our life!  And this is the crucial point; make it difficult to access your business by smartphone and you are creating one huge a barrier.

Is it commercial suicide not to have a mobile optimised website? Not yet but it soon will be! Yet a staggering 39% of transactional websites are not mobile optimised. This means, that when you access these sites on a smartphone or tablet, your experience is compromised and you cannot enjoy the full benefits of that site. In other words, you have to work harder to spend money! You’ve already worked hard to get it, so why should you work hard to spend it! So lets toddle off to another site that does make it easy. Get the picture?

A barrier to spending online using a smartphone or tablet has been inputting customer details – it's not easy to type in all your details using a limited keypad. This can be easily resolved by using a payment solution such as PayPal. Once registered, your customers only have to remember a password to complete the transaction.

We will never rid ourselves of ‘retail theatre’, the physical experience of soaking up a shop’s ambience but it is apparent that more and more money will be spent using mobile devices. And you have to make that experience as enriching and stimulating as possible.

Smartphone users check their phones over 100 times a day and Google are already seeing searches on mobile devices outstrip those on desktops. Mobile commerce is expected to top £6Bn in 2013 with 84% of smartphone owners being regular online shoppers and they have a smartphone or tablet handy, it doesn’t take too much to work out what they will do: spend money!

It is also apparent that catalogues and direct mail are still huge drivers to online and mobile sales. A recent Royal Mail report cites that 60% of catalogue recipients will go online to look at that catalogue’s website. And three out of four smartphone owners are reported to have researched or browsed catalogues online. QR codes (barcodes read by a mobile device’s camera) are included in many direct mail pieces and give instant, on-the-go access, to websites. Clearly if a mobile device is at hand, which it invariably is, then it will be used in an almost impulsive way to access websites.

It’s also a misconception that mobile marketing has to include apps. Apps are great at delivering targeted, interactive information, but they can be expensive and time consuming to develop. A website, fully optimized for mobiles, can give an equally rich mobile experience for a fraction of the cost.

So, why mobilise your website?

•     75% of customers prefer a mobile-friendly website (Google)

•     51% of consumers are more likely to purchase from retailers that have a mobile-friendly website (Brand Anywhere and Luth Research, November 2010)

•     Nine out of 10 mobile searches lead to action, over half leading to purchase. (Mobile Marketer, 2012)

•     60% of viewers leave a non-mobile optimised site and go to a competitors (Google)

•     It maximises your customer’s online experience

•     Sales can be driven to a device that is an integral part of your customer’s life

•     You can complete the circle of multi-channel marketing

•     You make it easy for customers to spend money

•     All age groups are switching to mobile devices; over 20% of 55+ customers have a tablet device.

And one last point:

•    67% of smartphone users are more likely to buy from a mobile-friendly site, so if that site’s not yours, you’ll be missing out in a big way. (Study by Google July 2012)

It’s a no brainer  – get mobile or get left behind! Capture your customers, on the train, on the bus, in the park, on the sofa – it doesn’t matter, they make the choice. 


Ian Simpson

by Ian Simpson

November 12, 2013

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