Small Business Going Mobile? What you need to know…

Many small business owners are faced with the challenges of servicing the needs of their ever-increasing mobile target market.  Mobile devices are the most used method to access web information and interact with the world. So, how does a small business owner adjust but not go overboard and break the budget?  Here are a few things to consider.

You have to perform – A recent survey of U.S. consumers who regularly use mobile devices for shopping showed that over 45% of mobile shoppers expect to complete a purchase in under 30 seconds once they reach your online store on a mobile device. Nearly 70% of respondents expect to complete a transaction in under a minute. What this means is you can’t just put your content into a mobile format and hope for the best.  You need to do this right and be prepared to deliver the right content in an organized and efficient format for mobile users. Translation, do it right or you are wasting your time.

Mobile is NOT a golden opportunity for everyone – Consumers who use mobile devices regularly are still not breaking the doors down. They are very active and use mobile devices to support their decision making through research, reviews and other means but, when it comes to the actual purchase only about 14% of mobile shoppers actually buy on a weekly basis. Also, some industries are better suited to be mobile-ready than others. Think of a florist vs. an attorney. (If you have an app for your attorney, we probably can’t be friends!)

Apps may not be where it’s at – Small business owners often associate being mobile-friendly with having an app. Unfortunately, this may be an expense that will never pay off for small businesses.  Facebook is arguably the most installed app on the planet yet studies show, it receives less than 5% of a typical user’s time. When it comes to shopping, the average mobile user only has 2-3 mobile shopping apps on their device and that space is taken up by Amazon, Ebay, Groupon, Wal-Mart and Target, just to name the top 5. Before spending on app development, you might want to re-think your overall web strategy because the stats point to the return on investment just not being there for small business.

Mobile is not just online buying – If you have made a retail purchase recently or own payment processing equipment, you understand the way we pay for things these days is changing. Mobile devices are becoming our wallets as well as our access to the world. So when you think about going mobile, consider other areas of your business that may be impacted.  The good thing is, when it comes to consumers using Google Pay or Apple Pay, nearly 90% of the mobile consumer market say they do not use their mobile device to pay for on-site purchases. So, you still have time to work this one into your calendar.

Changing or creating an online presence for mobile shoppers or installing the latest hardware for mobile payment processing can be quite an expense for small businesses. Be sure to consider the timing and the alternatives for your push into mobile markets. Do what small businesses do best, adapt and exploit the opportunities that the big companies cannot. Need help with your strategy? Leave a comment or contact our eBizNut coaches for assistance.

Statistics and research for this article were derived from Internet Retailer magazine.

The founder of Small Business Right, Earl has owned multiple small ventures. He has experience in retail/wholesale, ecommerce, business technology, cybersecurity, business operations, mentoring and all-things small business. Over two decades of entrepreneurial experience has allowed many opportunities to share and learn about business operations in many industries and assist businesses from idea validation to succession.

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Posted in eCommerce Operations, Web Design

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