Over the years technology has shifted to a variety of media. From desktops to laptops to handheld devices, technology is continuously shifting to avenues where information and services are readily accessible in real time and on the go. In 2016, it is estimated that 80% of Australians own a smartphone. That’s how many people are utilising modern technology. For business owners, that’s how many people are potential customers. Imagine how wide your audience would be if you could connect with almost the whole country’s population. Big brands have recognised this potential all too well with the proliferation of mobile apps. However, small businesses can also take advantage of this trend. The numerous benefits of going mobile are no secret, but being a small-scale business you might ask, what’s in it for you, and is it worth the cost?
Clearly, mobile allows you to reach out to a wider audience than ever before. The first thing you need to do is make your website mobile-first. Most of the traffic today is coming from a mobile device. In fact, Google is now actively discriminating against non-mobile-first sites. That’s not a site that just mobile-friendly, it’s a site that puts their mobile visitors before their desktop visitors! A mobile-first website that is accessible on-the-go has the potential to turn new visitors into regular customers. A busy mum, for example, will love the convenience of ordering coffee from her phone while on the way to work. This way, you eliminate the busy customer’s need to queue and wait. Another (and perhaps better) way to engage and retain customers is by providing them with your app – which allows you start to build a relationship with your customer. When people unlock and scroll through their phones your brand’s visual design gets ingrained in their subconscious, making your business easier to remember. Aside from e-commerce transactions (which you can do easily with apps), you can also push out notifications in real-time, give customer rewards and provide instant support. Moreover, notifications interrupt people’s daily lives with your company’s message (how many times have you noticed your phone light up, and you didn’t give it a quick glance to see what it was?). Having such a captive audience is a game-changer! The frequent gym-goer, for example, can easily be notified if their personal trainer is not available. Otherwise, a loyal customer could monitor their points and awards in your loyalty reward program without asking her to keep a card or key-fob. All these features can enhance your relationship with your customers and cultivate loyalty. It’s no wonder that the average smartphone user spends more time using an app instead of the phone’s general functions.
So, do you see why business size does not matter if you want to go mobile? If the reason why you’re still not ready to jump in on the bandwagon is because of the costs or the effort to make it, don’t fret. There are people out there who will do the job for you. App developers, for example, can remove the hassle of setting up the system. Some even offer templates and drag-and-drop systems for easier development. For a reasonable cost, they will help bring your app idea to life. You don’t need to code, or even test! There are businesses and people out there who can do that for you – from planning to designing, developing to testing.
Now here’s where your edge as a small-scale business comes in – you can stand out from your competition. Statistics show that only 20% of small businesses have apps launched before and during 2015. And although around 27% are planning to launch theirs or are likely to have one in the near future. This means the majority of small businesses today still don’t have one out there today. If you can get in with this first wave, you’ll get the first-mover advantage!
You can’t be missing out! Remember, traffic nowadays mostly comes from mobile. Whatever your business does and no matter its size, find a way to go mobile. The benefits will definitely outweigh the costs. But word-to-the-wise, make sure you do it right! A poorly designed mobile website or app has the power to lose you your customers. Useful and unique features, coupled with functionalities that provide convenience are your keys to success. If you are uncertain on how to do it, talk to us! Whether you have an idea right now or not at all, we can help you work it out. Drop us a comment here or in any of our social media channel!
*Survey on small scale businesses was conducted by Clutch and statistics can be found here.