The short answer is yes.
Although it is short, sweet and to the point, it does not explain the “why” factor of why it is so crucial for your business to be present via a mobile device, and understanding that your presence is vital for the success of your business is the first key to your continued existence amongst your targeted audience, your customers.
Why Do Businesses need to use Mobile?
If your business has yet to tap into the world of mobile, you are falling behind with the demographic of your customers, which covers various ranges in age groups. Mobile phones have made connecting via social networks, websites, location-based services, searching, and everything else via the web a more convenient way to remain current.
People search for the simplest of things; from where the best sushi restaurant is, to using map locations and chatting with people online (Those chats can include your business).
77% of the world’s population (that is 5.3 billion mobile subscribers) use their mobile device to access the web. 44% of them use their cell phone to access Facebook alone and are more active on Facebook via their phone than non-mobile subscribers are. Many mobile users only have their phone or choose only to use their phone over a laptop or desktop, 25% percent of them are in the U.S.
From this data alone, you are potentially losing customers and further branding your business. The mobile boom shot up in 2010 and the year prior, in 2009, half a billion people accessed the web via their mobile device, this simply means that it is a growing industry due to the demands of society and it will only continue to grow.
You Need a Mobile Website. Period.
If someone is trying to access your site via their mobile phone and cannot, you are damaging your business. In the age of peer recommendation, you are not just losing one potential customer, but most likely their friends and family too. They will share, and talk about the lack of availability your company offers and therefore you are losing a greater percentage of people than ever before, especially if they take the news to their social networks.
The Internet and the technology surrounding access to it, needs to be integrated into your business’s marketing strategies. You can no longer depend on paper fliers, radio spots or TV ads, it is not where people are offering their time, instead they are spending their time online, is your business?
If you are still questioning this, you need to realize that as of this year, over 85% of new handsets support 3G capabilities, making surfing the web even faster.
Having a website is a step forward in the right direction, yet the mobile experience does not stop there.
Connect with Customers via Your Mobile Phone.
The people you have chosen to higher, are representatives of your business, and they need to be tech savvy enough to be able to connect with your client base. Using texting as a way of business is not a futuristic endeavor. 8 trillion text messages will be sent this year alone, it is the #1 form of communication on a mobile device and including your business in amongst these texts can help you unite further with customers.
If you are wondering how this is possible, first ensure your employees either have a work cell phone or if you do not want to pay for the phone and all its necessities. You can pay for the phone’s data plan, so they can service customers faster and more conveniently (the new age form of ultimate customer service).
Tapping into apps, (mobile applications) will benefit your business as well, since in the past three years, 300, 000 mobile apps have been developed. This is just a short amount of time and the number is growing as you read this and come 2013 it is expected to peak. Will your business be ready? Downloaded apps thus far have equaled to 10.9 billion, therefore, you need to find a way to incorporate mobile apps into your business. The most popular downloaded mobile apps are games, news, maps, social networking and music.
If none of them fit your business, find a way to create an application that will simplify something related to your business for your customer. Be creative and clever, creating an app for the sake of it is not worthy of anyone’s time.
M-Commerce, yes it Exists.
By now, you are most likely use to the online business term, E-Commerce (Electronic Commerce). However, did you know about M-Commerce (Mobile Commerce)? This newest form of purchasing digital goods is the largest segment ahead of physical goods. Some of the top M-Commerce includes Taobao, Amazon and eBay. The U.S. market for M-Commerce is expected to reach $31 billion by 2016. M-Payments has gained popularity as well, allowing consumers to pay their bills online, and by 2015, 1 in 8 mobile device users will use M-Ticketing, giving subscribers the ability to purchase tickets for airplanes, concerts etc. right from their phone.
The Future of Business is Mobile.
Having your business tap into mobile now is preparing your company for the future. It is predicted that in 5 years people will be using mobile devices over their Macs and PC’s. Prepping your business and employees of how customers can find you and knowing the various technologies they will use to attempt access to your business online is essential. Most importantly, how they search for your business, 40% of searches from mobile devices are local, yes, local, doubling the amount of any other electronic device.
The question is WHY is your business not using mobile?
Erin Ryan is a writer for various blogs and a Social Media Promotional Director who has a keen understanding of the power of Social Media for business and fervently stays up-to-date with the Social Media Industry. Erin enjoys teaching and helping people and businesses on how to use and connect through Social Media. You can connect with Erin on Twitter.