Run, Don’t Walk, to the Mobile Web Wonderland

The Small Business Cyber Monday Survival Guide
November 21, 2012
December Desktop Maintenance
December 5, 2012

“Sleigh bells ring, are you listening,” goes the carol, and after the first major holiday shopping weekend of the year, shoppers are sending a message loud and clear to all interested businesses: go mobile or go bust.

Take a look at these stats (compiled by Forbes):

  • The Black Friday weekend saw a whopping $59.1 billion spent by 247 million shoppers.
  • Mobile shopping grew by 66% compared to last year, lead by Apple’s iPad and followed closely by Android devices.
  • Expect those numbers to grow as the top items bought included the iPad and the Kindle.

Here’s some practical advice to take advantage of the mobile wonderland.

Optimize your Website …

Nothing’s more frustrating to a mobile shopper than having to flick through two screens of menus. Sites that look great on a desktop don’t translate well to a smaller screen without some work. Get rid of extraneous menus, text, and anything that doesn’t immediately meet the visitor’s needs.

Don’t think too small, either. Smart devices come in all shapes and sizes, with differing network signals and abilities. The best route to take is a responsive design that will adapt to the screen size of the visitor.

… and your Store

Let’s face it: people are going to use their phones in your store. They’ll be checking for deals and bargains, going up to your shelves and immediately looking up the equivalent on Amazon. There’s even a name for the phenomenon: showrooming.  How do you compete with that kind of power?

Many stores are creating mobile apps that entice shoppers with in-store discounts, offers, and product reviews (the very things they’re looking for anyway). While Wal-Mart and Target are the biggest direct Amazon rivals driving this practice, mobile apps are great for small businesses too. Apps give sales staff and shoppers easier access to pricing information, repeat customers could receive special discounts or offers, and social media Friends near your location could get enticing offers.

There’s a right and a wrong way to do this kind of mobile promotion (put the recent Papa John’s spam texting lawsuit down on the naughty list). We’ve got a lot of experience helping people develop their mobile app ideas, and we’d love to help your small business get in the game.