Small businesses in the US encompass an endlessly varied range of industries and services. One of the rare things that they share in common is their link to technology, from the oldest brick and mortar business to the newest cutting edge service. Increasingly, internet traffic is being driven by mobile consumption habits. The Pew Research Center’s internet findings show that in September, over half of adult Americans had a Smartphone and of those, 34% mostly used their mobile device to access the internet. This means that small business owners can expect to get more and more mobile traffic to their websites as time goes on, and mobile is poised to effect consumer spending habits as phones are increasingly used to assist in picking restaurant locations, navigation, searching for retail items and reading reviews of services. Apps like Uber are also demonstrating the very real power of convenience that apps put at the fingertips of their users. While for many small businesses the creation of their own mobile app is simply to expensive to consider, there are other ways, such as claiming all of your listings on services like Yelp and Facebook that can help your business stand out in the age of apps. Speaking to this trend, here are three powerful reasons why every small business owner should be thinking about how they can implement an awareness of mobile technology into their long term strategies.
Mobile tells your customers where to go. The study reported the 49 percent of Americans use their cellphones to get directions, access recommendations or use other location based services. Mobile technology will increasingly define where your potential customers go, even on a local scale. If your business isn’t listed, then you are limiting the range of customers that can find you. Most listing services are free on a basic level, so sit down and take the time to register your business.
The next generation of consumers are already on mobile. 80% of the demographic of consumers in the age range of 18-29 already own a smartphone. That means that the next big spenders are going to be much more heavily reliant on smartphones than the generation that invented them. You don’t have to own a smartphone to understand the power of getting a jump on a trend. Building enhanced mobile structure for your business’s website and taking the steps needed to appear in app searches related to your business isn’t just trendy, it’s a long term strategy.
Apps can do anything. The great thing about mobile apps is that they put the power into the hands of their users, and there is an app being developed for almost any task you can imagine, if it doesn’t exist already. Your business exists in a world where commerce as we know it is changing, evolving into simpler, more immediate and more widely accessible means of consumption. An app that brings your business closer to your target demographic allows your business to enter into the inner circle of your customers preferences. Consider this: 44% of those surveyed said that they slept close to their mobile devices in order to not miss any updates or texts. When a business can get that close to their customers, the benefit is a better understanding of consumer trends, and more personalized service for the consumer.
Photo Credit to LGEPR on Flickr