Small and mid-sized businesses are faced with increasing competition from large enterprises who are reaching their customers using mobile marketing, proximity GEO driven offers, and sometimes taking the business away when the customer is in their store via their smart phone.
In a report conducted by Nielsen for Google entitled “Mobile Path to Purchase – Five Key Findings” Nielsen found that 55% of consumers using mobile to research a purchase, wanted to buy it within the hour and 83% wanted to make that purchase with in a day.
The report also noted that mobile research begins with the search engine, not with a branded mobile site or app. On average, the report says, consumers spend over 15 hours per week researching purchases on their smartphone and visit websites via mobile six times during the same time-frame. For 69% of these mobile buyers location proximity was important and most wanted the location to be five miles or less from them.
Perhaps the most encouraging statistic, if you have done all you can to maintain solid SEO practices and are using responsive website development, is that 93% of people who use mobile to research a purchase of either a product or a service go on to complete a purchase. Even better, most of these purchases happen in a physical store.
For SMBs this means thinking mobile first may well be the way to boost their success in the “brick and mortar” world. Even small storefront businesses will need to have mobile friendly websites and using everything from simple SMS offers to introducing coupon applications that can be used on a smart phone either via a scan or pushed to the customer based on purchasing behavior data, when they are in the store. They will need to make sure that your websites can be found easily, they are simpler and load fast, and because the stats favor purchases within a day and within five miles, you should be sure your physical address, hours of operation and contact info are right up front.
Although many have thought that the web would completely replace small business and that “big box” stores would also spell their doom; mobile may well be the technology that gives SMBs a new edge and a way to better market to the customers they need to grow and prosper. These companies don’t need to have a huge staff of programmers to meet these new challenges and have access to the kind of development that produces mobile-friendly webs and better ways to draw you local customers in. There are a number of firms that provide both expert advice on options and low costs for developing your mobile marketing solution.
It’s not a matter of if you need to take advantage of mobile marketing in 2014, it’s a matter of how much longer can you wait. Firming up your web and mobile strategies to implement new ways to sell your product or service now is critical. Mobile has already put a dent in the big box and web store sales by providing customers with even more immediate fulfillment of their needs. Don’t let your company fall behind and take full advantage of what mobile applications can bring to your business bottom-line.