Mobile Trends for Small Businesses

The world of technology is constantly evolving, making it hard at times to keep up. If your small business wants to stay ahead of the competition, staying on top of current technology is a must. Here are a few mobile trends small business owners should know about.

Web Browsing Gone Mobile

Recent studies have shown that more than half of U.S. and Canadian users are viewing websites via mobile browsers. With this in mind, businesses should check all web content to make sure it is compatible with a variety of web browsers, including the iPhone’s Safari, the built-in Android browser, and third-party browsers like Dolphin, Skyfire, Opera Mini, and Mozilla Fennec (Firefox Mobile).

Additionally, more than 40% of U.S. consumers are checking e-mail via smartphone or other mobile device. This is something to keep in mind when marketing to your customers using e-mail. E-mails should be formatted in HTML to allow mobile devices to display images the way you intended. Attachments should be avoided, since mobile readers likely will opt out of downloading separate files.

Increased Use of GPS Navigation

The reliance on GPS navigation devices and smartphone GPS signals continues to increase, with consumers turning to mobile devices to “find nearby businesses” rather than opening a phone book. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and test out your business’s performance on GPS-based business finder apps. If you aren’t showing up near the top of popular services like Yelp on mobile searches, you’re likely missing out on valuable customers. While you’re at it, check your performance on devices like Garmin and Google Maps.

Additionally, social media should be an important part of your business marketing plan. Customers turn to Facebook and Twitter for information on local businesses offering the services they need. Keeping in mind that your social media sites will be visited via mobile device in many cases, considering offering discounts that mobile users can obtain by simply showing the discount on their screen, rather than forcing them to print out paper coupons and bring them in.

Increased Tablet Use

Tablets are taking over the PC market, with many consumers opting to drop computer workstations and laptops in favor of more portable devices. This means more consumers will be viewing TV and movies via PC, changing the face of television permanently. If the majority of your advertising is on TV or radio, consider reaching out to your customers through different methods. Taking out ads in newspapers, magazines, and the phone book aren’t complete wastes, but consider your market. If your desired demographic skews a little older, those might be the best media for your advertising, but younger markets are less likely to read the paper or watch the morning news when that same information is available via iPhone or tablet. And many of those customers toss the phone book in the recycle bin as soon as it comes in.

The world of business is quickly evolving and it’s imperative your small business keep up. If your small business is using what worked twenty years ago, you’re likely costing yourself customers. By thinking like your customers, you’ll be able to maximize profits and target the consumers you want to reach.