As commerce increasingly goes mobile, it's more important than ever for small businesses to keep up with the latest tech trends. Customers can search, compare and purchase anywhere and from any device, and embracing mobile is the best way to compete.
"Nearly 30 percent of all Web traffic is generated from a mobile device," said David Brown, CEO of Web.com. "That number will increase as smartphone and tablet penetration reaches saturation, more powerful mobile devices become available, and mobile networks equal or surpass the home broadband experience."
With that in mind, Brown said that there are two primary ways for small businesses to capitalize on consumer mobile use: increased visibility and direct online sales. Consumers frequently search for local businesses on a mobile device, and expect a desktop-like experience. Creating a mobile-optimized website with full content and easy navigation will ensure that you are delivering the best online experience for your customers. [Building a Business Website: A Small Business Guide]
As more and more customers are choosing to shop online, adding an e-commerce component to your website as a service provider or local brick-and-mortar retailers can really boost business.
"[These businesses] will recognize the demand for electronic billing, invoicing and processing payments," Brown told Business News Daily. "To get ahead of the game and be on par with big businesses, small businesses must deliver the same value-added services, and online shopping or electronic billing is a big step in the right direction."
To take advantage of these mobile opportunities, Brown recommended that small businesses do the following:
Get serious about your online presence. The first step for any business that wants to compete in a mobile environment is to create a good website. There are plenty of low-cost, easy-to-use tools for business owners to build a professional-looking site, even with little to no background in IT or Web design.
Know your customers' preferences. Customers of small businesses demand the same attention and engagement online as they do in a personal, face-to-face environment. Ask and listen to existing customers about how they most desire to be reached, whether it's identifying specific social media channels, mobile applications or even texting.
- Find the resources that work for your business. Every small business is unique. Each requires the combination of a sound business plan and the right resources in order to grow and succeed. Especially in a mobile-oriented environment, business owners need to find the tools that work best for them and their companies.
Originally published on Business News Daily.