Monday, November 7, 2011

How Many Sales Is Your Non-Mobile Website Costing Your Business?

by Sidney Angelos

When the World Wide Web emerged on the scene in the late 1990s, there was a rush to get one’s business online and in front of the ever-expanding number of potential customers all clamoring to see what was happening in this new world known as cyberspace. In less than two decades, simply having a website is no longer enough. Businesses that hope to compete across the widest spectrum have to consider if and how they are appearing to potential customers who access the Internet via handheld smart phone computing devices.
Setting aside the argument that some businesses simply don’t or won’t do well in an attempt to acquire customers via mobile devices, the vast majority of businesses with an online presence need to consider what they may be losing in the way of sales by not having mobile-friendly versions of their sites.

Statistics indicate that people on the move who perform searches to find businesses or products tend to be consumers ready to make purchases. Considering these facts, it makes sense to have one’s company website easily accessible for those mobile users to quickly get to the information they are looking for to answer their questions or fulfill their needs.
The formula is actually rather simple:
  1. Create a Web Presence–if one doesn’t already exist
  2. Choose a Mobile Web Presentation–this is where one has a number of choices depending upon the platform the company web site is built upon
  3. Include Mobile Device Detection–today’s technologies provide web developers with the ability to code automatic detection of the type of device which a potential customer is accessing the website
  4. Let the World Know–about the fact the company can now be accessed via mobile, wireless computing devices
The first two items on the list above are relatively cut and dry. A few decisions need be made in order to put things in place, but all of that exists and shouldn’t require wheel recreation in order to generate a high-quality mobile-friendly website.

But marketing the fact that users on the go can now have easy access to one’s site may be a bit more challenging. In order to get closer to securing more sales as a result of ones investment in an optimized mobile website, a marketing campaign should accompany the site’s development.
Effective use of social media can be an excellent channel to broadcast one’s mobile accessibility news for very little money. Services exist now which provide inexpensive or free ways to automate messages within social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

Other effective marketing methods might include having employees add a link and short message about the new access capabilities to all of their outgoing email messages. This is another example of setting things up and the rest happens automatically.

Traditional broadcasting methods of company news would also be important here as well. Press releases, direct mail and even voice calls to parties who could spread the message further will all provide high quality dissemination of the company’s new mobile website.

Another important consideration one might want to undertake when working on the new site optimized for mobile access is making the company’s messages and access to products and services easy and intuitive. Too often, websites which provide plethora of knowledge and data on their desktop versions attempt to do the same with the mobile version.

If this is applicable to mobile users–they are coming to one’s site specifically to access this type of content–by all means make that the focus of the mobile site. If, on the other hand, the mobile users are more interested in aspects like physical locations of the business or being able to quickly order a product, make their journey to answers and purchases easy, quick and as hassle free as possible.

Chances are mobile online sales will increase with good attention paid to the right details.