Discover the potential of mobile salesPublished on 13th December 2018 2018-12-13T23:35:04+00:00
The smartphone is fast becoming the main way that people use the internet – but many small businesses are missing out on a £27bn mobile shopping boom because their websites aren't optimised for mobile shopping.
One of the great things about the internet is that your small business can compete with big players. You don’t need a huge investment in retail premises – a well-designed website can be all you need to sell to customers anywhere in the UK – or even beyond.
It has meant a sales boom for many retailers, from those with niche businesses to those serving the mass markets with clothing and groceries.
But the internet – and web-based commerce – is moving fast. The website that was cutting-edge and which brought in sales from customers eager to go shopping with their laptops is now looking dated. In fact, it could be costing you sales – because it is not optimised for mobile users.
There are more phones in pockets than desktops in homes. It’s hardly surprising that the time that people spend on their phones is increasing too. Waiting in a queue, sitting on a train, people look at their phone. It is a new development that could mean extra sales – if your business is ready to take advantage of the potential.
New research has shown that many UK small businesses which discovered the potential of selling online a few years ago are now falling behind because the boom in mobile is changing the rules. They are failing to reap the potential of a huge boom in mobile shopping because their websites are difficult to use on smartphones and tablets.
It is a growing problem. Shoppers are predicted to double the amount they spent on purchases made via mobile devices to £27bn by the end of this year, and that figure is set to pass £43bn by 2020. Many of the larger online retail businesses now see mobile as their primary sales channel.
However, online payment provider PayPal has found that only around 18% of the UK’s small businesses have mobile-friendly websites.
Potential customers are frustrated by sites that require awkward scrolling and make data input difficult on the small screen – and, which in the worst cases, simply cannot be used to buy with a smartphone.
Small businesses risk being left behind in the next stage of the online revolution
Consumers said the lack of a mobile-friendly website was the biggest frustration when they want to buy with their smartphone. With mobile sales growing in virtually every sector, from travel to fashion to car parking – and even the banks offering mobile banking – it looks as though not having a mobile-friendly site means getting left behind.
If you have an established brand, and potential customers are searching for you, the chances are that around 60% will be doing so on a mobile phone.
Plus, it should come as no surprise that the most enthusiastic mobile shoppers are the younger generation, who are glued to their phones for virtually every aspect of daily life. As many as three out of every five millennials report that they go shopping on their mobiles every day.
Mobile shoppers, in general, will go elsewhere if they find you have an unresponsive website. If they have to pinch and hold to see images, or can’t navigate easily to what they want, they will not hang around. Even being unable to find the checkout button at first glance might be enough to make them abandon their basket.
The simple fact is if your website is not easy to use with a mobile, they will be going to your competitors who have mobile-friendly sites – and they will not be coming back.
On the other hand, a mobile-friendly website delivers real benefits – in that it helps you convert more and generate more sales.
What can you do to go mobile?
It may be possible to use your current website with a mobile device, but is it easy? You need to make the mobile experience as simple and enjoyable as possible. That may mean starting again with your site – or at the very least, setting up a link to a mobile site which will automatically be seen by users when they are viewing it on a mobile device.
This will be recognised by the major search engines such as Google, and may even help bring you in more visitors.
Your new site may look much like your existing web presence – but it is likely to have more images, less text and be responsive – meaning that whatever size of screen the user has, the site will adjust to fit it.
Of course, providing this kind of site, along with support services, payment facilities and an interface with your internal systems is too important - and too demanding - to be left to just anyone. You need the services of experienced web developers who can demonstrate a record of success in producing mobile sites designed for e-businesses.
This means an investment in your business. You should see rapid returns on that investment in terms of increased sales, but the initial costs may be high.
At Rangewell, we are working with a growing number of businesses which are seeking funding to pay for the development of their mobile sales channels. We know the lenders who understand the importance and potential of offering a professional mobile presence.
If you are ready to make the most of going mobile, simply call us to discuss the funding you need.
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