by Neal Lappe, October 12, 2011
4 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Mobile Website
WARNING - the information contained in this article may not be suitable for those who feel our world is moving too fast. We're talking mobile here and it is moving at "light speed”. That being said, if you are a marketer and/or business owner you need to ask yourself if your business is ready for a mobile website - that is, a website designed specifically for mobile devices - primarily smart-phones.
Mobile (or said another way - wireless) technologies are going to transform the way we live, work and play in the same magnitude (or greater) as how the internet has changed our lives. Consider the following trends:
- 3G penetration (wireless speed), a huge influence on mobile penetration, was about 38% at the end of 2009, and is expected to be 74% by 2014. We are already seeing 4G spots and we shouldn't be surprised when we get to 10G. Remember the first PC that contained a whopping 64K of memory?
- New smart-phone (SP) apps are being launched daily. It's reported there are about 60,000 iPhone apps and some 150,000 or so Android apps on the market, triple from the beginning of the year.
- Due to increasing numbers of SP's, industry experts forecast that about 50% of consumers will holiday shop/buy this year from their mobile devices.
- Earlier this year an industry expert predicted SP's would represent 38% of mobile phones. Only a few months later, Nielsen published their prediction that by the end of this year more than 50% of mobile phones will be smart-phones. That's just how fast this industry is moving.
- Industry experts predict that around the end of 2012 consumers will access the internet more often from a mobile device than from a desktop/laptop device.
- The industry predicts mobile marketing expenditures (including the development of mobile websites) will more than triple in just 4 years.
- Nearly 8 of 10 men, women and children in the world have a mobile device, and this is growing.
By now you have certainly seen a QR code and maybe even interacted with one. QR codes are essentially just links to a web-page. They can appear on just about anything but mostly they appear on printed items - newspaper adds, brochures, business cards, etc. - basically any marketing material or product in printed format. A QR code can send the consumer to a page in your mobile site that provides customer service information, or product information, or anything else you can imagine.
You can create your own QR code free and you can even custom design one. Go to www.qrstuff.com and experiment with creating a QR code. If you are using a QR code anywhere in your business, make sure you have a mobile site. After all, the very nature of the QR code says someone is using their mobile device to connect with you so make sure you provide them a mobile page to view.
Clearly mobile is expanding at "light speed”. How will it all evolve and how should businesses and marketers plan for it? We think mobile websites will evolve similar to the way the internet has evolved. That is - in three major stages as follows:
- Stage 1 - Informing customers about what you do and how to contact you. Consider this your mobile brochure.
- Stage 2 - Enabling customers to experience some of the features and benefits of your firm. Think of this as basic functions on your mobile site like searching through your inventory or perhaps a very basic mobile app.
- Stage 3 - Giving your customers the ability to change the way they interact with you. This could be scheduling service or purchasing a product. In other words, using mobile technology in a way that makes it easy for customers to do business with you via their mobile device.
We recommend you begin to consider your mobile marketing strategy. Unless you've already developed and launched a mobile website for your firm, you should start to think about the following questions:
- How do you want customers to interact with you via their mobile device? Your mobile site will likely be a scaled down version of your regular website so you have to think about how your customers can/will interact with you via mobile.
- From your Google Analytics data, what are the most popular pages in your website? Once again, your scaled down mobile website should contain the pages/information found most popular by users of your regular website.
- If you are in the B2C space (Business-to-Consumer), how important is it to provide location information and/or ability to contact you easily for service or to view your products?
- If your current marketing activities could be enhanced by the use of QR codes, what mobile information will you want to connect to?
Mobile internet access is exploding at an amazing pace and you should be thinking about a mobile marketing/communications strategy for your company - your mobile website being the center-point. A mobile website will soon become as critical to the competitiveness of your business as your regular website. As you contemplate what to do about a mobile website, think about how your customers can/will interact with you via mobile device and what the most popular content is on your regular website. Finally, think about the use of QR codes as that will influence the content on your mobile site.