The year 2015 marked some dramatic changes in E-Commerce and it can be argued that the biggest impact came from mobile. Consumers spent $69.08 billion online during the 2015 holiday shopping season, with $12.65 billion via mobile devices, according to comScore data. Forrester Research estimates that 64% of American adults now own a smartphone of some kind.
The popularity of E-Commerce through mobile devices makes it shocking to discover that 93.3% of small business websites are not mobile compatible according to SCORE, a nonprofit supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration that helps small businesses nationwide. It is imperative for small businesses to understand the importance of providing a mobile shopping experience. A lack of action will result in losing customers and facing obsolescence quickly. Concerned with costs, manpower, and technical know-how, entrepreneurs may shy away from implementing a mobile strategy. An understanding of some key ideas can help small businesses take advantage of the cost-effective technologies for mobile sites and the increased sales that will result from a solid mobile action plan.
#1 Mobile is driven by Millennials
Millennials are the largest demographic group in history, according to the US Census Bureau, with a reported 80 million in the USA. Raised almost exclusively in the digital media age, they are very comfortable with everything digital from consuming media, financial transactions, communicating with one another, and more. Impatient and needing instant gratification, mobile payments offer the highest levels of convenience. It is estimated that by 2025 this group is expected to generate 46% of all US income. That’s a lot of purchase power!
#2 Google has optimized its infrastructure to be mobile first
On April 21, 2015, Google launched a new search algorithm, retooling search rankings and give greater weight to sites that are friendly to mobile devices. The new algorithm only applies to searches performed from smartphones and other mobile handsets, but considering more searches take place on mobile vs. desktop, it’s essential to have a mobile friendly site. Luckily, it is easy to find out if your site meets the criteria by typing in a site’s URL here.
#3 Technology has made mobile cost-effective, efficient, and with several options
There are several ways for small businesses to create a mobile friendly site, even from an existing site. Depending on your needs, a software solutions provider can help and there are other solutions that are available, depending on your company’s needs.
- Mobile First – A mobile first site starts with the development of a mobile site first! A new company that offers cutting-edge technology and easy development of mobile first sites is Avumo. Good for the DIY set and development firms, the intuitive platform will get a site mobile ready in minutes.
- Adaptive Design– Much like responsive design, except that an adaptive website detects the device and delivers the appropriately sized website for the device being used.
- Mobile App – If a company has large volume and shoppers are visiting often, a business will likely develop a mobile app.
#4 Premium Secure Payment Tools are for Small Businesses too!
Some may feel that mobile transactions do not offer the same level of security as desktop, or that working with a premium payment provider is only for large companies, and expensive. Small Businesses that work with an experience software solutions provider can take advantage of services geared to the needs of growing companies. The software solutions provider works with other small businesses and has the purchasing power to facilitate agreements with even the largest and most respected payment tools. Businesses seeking to accelerate their growth with the more secure payment tools can have access to premium services through the right channels making mobile shopping easier for your customers.
Small businesses seeking to grow, and in many cases survive, need to look at mobile as one of the most essential elements to their business. Shoppers are changing the way they make purchases, each year more consumers use their mobile devices, and search engine tools are promoting sites that are mobile friendly. The right technology and a good plan can help small businesses accelerate their growth and reach new markets successfully.
Thu Truong is World Wide VP of Operations at SETA International, a leading software solutions provider dedicated to helping businesses succeed with premium cutting-edge technology. Ms. Truong has spearheaded a range of initiatives geared to helping small businesses flourish by providing access to premium payment tools, deploying SETA’s award winning mobile and cloud based solutions, and developing a partnership network focused on creating new revenue streams for growing companies. Recent client launches include: Avumo, SIRE Mobile, The Restaurant Expert, Teacher Zone, among others.