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The mobile revolution. Have you signed up or, are you still on the sidelines?

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As a business owner, you’ve probably noticed how attached your customers are to their mobile phones. From texting to surfing the Internet, mobile phones are ingrained into our daily lives.

And, the rise in mobile usage is projected to continue.

With mobile web traffic set to increase 2,600 per cent in four years, you need to consider how mobile usage will affect your business.

Consider this: 88 per cent of all web searches are made from a mobile phone.

Put simply, if you’re not adjusting to a mobile world, you’re behind. This is especially true for small to mid-sized businesses, as your customers now turn to their smartphones to look up store hours, check prices and call you with one click.

Your customers must be able view your website on a small mobile screen. If your site does not display properly on a small mobile screen, you’re not meeting your customer’s needs.

Customers today expect websites to be mobile friendly and easy to navigate with their fingertips, without having to pinch and zoom. And, with mobile browsing speeds getting faster, the desktop computer is no longer the access point to the Internet.

Mobile websites are the new digital storefront

To illustrate how important it is to adapt to the new mobile world, here are some eye popping mobile statistics:

  • By 2015 there will be one mobile device for every person in the world
  • In 2013 more people will use a mobile device to get online then use PCs
  • A staggering 50% of local searches are performed on mobile devices
  • If a mobile user is not happy with your mobile website, there is a 40% chance they will visit a competitor
  • If a mobile user has a poor experience on your mobile website, they are 57% more unlikely to recommend your business to other mobile users
  • 60% of mobile users expect your mobile website to load in under 3 seconds

As you can see having your business mobile friendly is no longer an action point you “should” consider. You “must have” a mobile site if you are to truly stay relevant.

Craig Rispin, a business futurist and innovation expert at The Future Trends Group, has been advising CEOs all around the world how to stay ahead of the market by consistently innovating adapting to future trends.

“Think about how much the internet has impacted their business since 1994. Then, multiply that by 10 times, and that’s the impact mobile will have on their business. It’s simply an order of magnitude, whether it’s an opportunity or threat,” Rispin tells his clients.

When you make the decision to go mobile, consider the following design tips to ensure your website captures each user and encourages them to come back:

  1. Function over form: Unlike desktop websites packed full of design features, mobile websites should be simple and clearly display a user’s options. Using big buttons for navigation and keeping a focus on action, rather than the artistry can accomplish this.
  2. Mobile-only features: Mobile users expect certain “must have” features so consider investing in a bit of market research to properly identify what those features could be. These could include a click-to-call button, Google-map enabled directions and posting store hours on the homepage.
  3. Don’t abandon your brand: Your brand is important, so keep it on your mobile offering. Be sure to include your logo, colours, messages and your overall look and feel. Alignment between your regular website and mobile is important. But, also understand that you may need to adapt your brand to work within the mobile environment.
  4. Touch screen navigation: It’s a finger, not a mouse, that navigates on a mobile website. Users should not have to squint to interact with your mobile website. In fact, if the site is hard to navigate, users are very likely to leave and turn to a competitor.
  5. E-commerce: Today, mobile customers compare prices, read reviews, and makes purchases from their smartphones. To take advantage of rising mobile sales, be sure to “mobilise” your shopping cart. It should be as easy to buy from a mobile device as it is from your website.
  6. Know your customers: Mobile users have different habits. Integrate mobile web analytics to tailor your strategy. Analyse where your customers are coming from, what drives them to your site and, their clicking habits. Adjust your messaging and design to improve mobile customer retention.

You know the old saying, “Go big or go home?”

Well, in today’s business world, the saying has evolved with the times: Go mobile or go home.

By embracing the trend of mobile, your business will attract new customers and stay connected in a world constantly on the go.

Alex Pirouz is the founder of RIDC Advisory, a business advisory firm partnering assisting companies successfully start, grow and exit their business. Connect with Alex on LinkedIn.

(Image source: Bigstock)

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