If you have a business of any sort, you need to have a website. Plain and simple.
Reaching out to customers is a lot more than just putting out huge signs on the street corners are taking out ads in the local newspaper. These days, it’s a no-brainer that all businesses need to have a website.
But take a look around. Most likely you’ll catch someone browsing through his smartphone or navigating the web on her tablet. These days, the world literally is at our fingertips thanks to the rising popularity of mobile devices.
For this reason, you absolutely must capitalize on this market. Otherwise, you stand to risk losing a ton of potential business. The question you may be asking yourself is, do I need a mobile website? What about a mobile app? Or do I need both?
Let’s spend some time here analyzing these questions.
Every Business Needs a Mobile Website
Without question, your business absolutely needs a mobile site.
Why? Because there are currently 105 million people in the US using their smartphones or other mobile devices to access the internet, and this number just keeps growing. Yet for some crazy reason, only about 10-percent of small businesses with a website have optimized their sites for mobile. To put it plainly, you’re really losing out on major business if your site is still a pain to browse on a smartphone.
Mobile devices have changed the face of how consumers do their online shopping. They no longer wait to get to their desktop computer before making purchases. With a mobile device, shopping is at our fingertips around the clock, no matter where we are. Many sites that offer time-sensitive deals need to take advantage of this 24/7 shopping experience and every small business absolutely needs to leverage this shopping avenue.
If you really want your business to get noticed, having a mobile site is the way to do it. In fact, according to CTIA-The Wireless Association® in 2010, 264.5 million data-capable devices are being used by consumers That was four years ago. Imagine what that number looks like today! I mean, you might be successful already, but your profitability could go through the roof if you simply take full advantage of what mobile has to offer.
Aside from adapting to the smaller screens present on mobile devices, mobile websites are also much simpler and easier to browse using touch-friendly navigation. Mobile sites provide consumers with easier access to products, which means your conversion rates are likely to be much higher.
Having a mobile site can help to increase your local market attention. If you find that local business is lagging, engaging in mobile marketing can help bring the masses to your website. Having a mobile site that easily and quickly turns traffic into paying customers can be done through effective and easily-accessible information. Having a mobile site that clearly shows a map and location of your business is crucial. Pointing your site’s visitors to important features such as your « About Us » or « Coupons & Sales » pages can help convert your visitors much more effectively.
What Kind of Mobile Site Do you Need?
Now that you know why it’s critical to have a mobile site, the next factor to consider is the type of mobile site your business needs.
What does your business offer? Mobile coupons? Unique products? Information? Even if your site doesn’t specifically sell tangible products, so long as you’re selling something for a profit, the need for a mobile presence is abundant. At the very least, your mobile site should be one that offers pertinent information about your business, such as where you’re located, directions, and what services your business offers.
But if your business is based on making direct online sales, then you’ll need an online store. And not just one where consumers can make purchases through a desktop layout, but also from a site that is mobile and responsive. People are making purchases on the fly these days, so having a mobile web store can make it easier for them to make purchases, no matter where they are.
Having an online store that’s optimized for use on a mobile device can prove to be highly profitable for your business. Not only can it help a business improve sales, but it can also be a great means of marketing to potential customers as well.
Does Your Site Need a Mobile App?
Mobile apps can be a fabulous way for you to truly connect with customers. Apps developed specifically for your business can provide consumers with a direct connection to your business without the use of the internet. With one simple click on the app icon, your customers can be immediately connected with your business.
An app will give you the opportunity to engage with your customers in real-time, too. You’ll be able to access their profiles, so you know where they are and what methods they prefer for accessing your site.
A mobile app can also make it much easier for consumers to view your products and/or services. For example, you might think about developing an app that lets customers access current coupons. This can improve their shopping experience and increase the chances of them becoming repeat customers.
In fact, offering coupons is one of the best ways to monetize your site and your business, and offering these coupons through an app is the perfect way to do it. Immediately notifying your customers about the latest coupon will increase the odds of them visiting your mobile site – and making a purchase while they’re at it.
Mobile Site vs Mobile App – Your Online Store Needs Both
You know the advantages of having a mobile site. You also know why it’s highly beneficial to have a mobile app. Ideally, your business would have both.
A mobile site is essentially one that has been made responsive to be accessed and navigated through a mobile device. You can easily have your mobile site ranked high in Google just like any other regular website. Ideally, you’ll have just one, killer responsive site that can adapt to any screen size.
Apps take things a step further by offering visitors who have already found your site a more personalized connection to your business. And having both can mean big business for your company.
Small businesses online need to recognize the importance of having a mobile site, and what these optimized sites can mean for their bottom line. No one wants to waste time waiting for a website to load nor do they want to have to scroll across and up and down constantly in order to accurately view all the information on screen. Customers also shouldn’t be tasked with figuring out how to access certain navigational items to take them to where they want to go. Thankfully, a mobile site can resolve this issue.
But having an app is becoming increasingly important for online stores. And having both is becoming increasingly essential for obtaining – and retaining – loyal customers.
What do you think? Is it worth the investment to have a mobile site and a mobile app for your online store? Do you believe this combination can help companies reach higher levels of success and profitability? I’d love to know what you think on the subject!