Make Sure Your Business Is Mobile Friendly

While you may or may not have heard that Google will begin incorporating data on whether a site is mobile friendly or not into its ranking algorithm this April, there are several reasons that your business should make sure it has a mobile friendly presence and your search ranking is just one of them.

Make sure your business is mobile friendlyIn a recent poll conducted by Edelman, it was indicated that online search engines are considered to be the most-trusted media source. Based on their data,  64% of internet users worldwide consider online search engines the most trusted source for information. Make sure that your business is in a position to capitalize on that trust by having a mobile friendly web site.

If you don’t think mobile searches are significant, think again.  In a recent comScore report, it was reported that smartphones and tablets now account for 6o% of all online traffic. Additionally it has been shown in a separate study that a higher percentage of mobile searches result in purchases that with traditional searches (comScore). You want to makes sure that this high quality traffic is finding your business.

This just applies to restaurants and retail outlets, according to eMarketer it is a similar situation when it comes to business information. Where search engines remain the most popular source of information (31% of respondents, while only 20% turn to newspapers).

There are many fine mobile web site developers that can help you with your project but you should also consider how mobile applications fit into the picture and how they can benefit your business.

A mobile application developer can help you develop an application that fits your business needs but keep in mind how it will benefit your online search strategy as well. Mobile app listings are given high importance in Google’s ranking algorithm so having mobile applications can place you very favorably when it comes to mobile search. Additionally having a mobile application has been shown to affect your businesses’ search ranking beyond just your application’s search position.

Beyond mobile’s affect on your search position customers have come to expect mobile optimized web sites and mobile applications from businesses and you might be turning customers away if you are not providing these to your customers.  Since June 2013 more than half of the time spent shopping online has been done via mobile device [Internet Retailer]. Savvy shoppers are familiar with good mobile user experiences and have come to expect them.

Image: Ulf Bodin (Flickr) http://bit.ly/1Na41gm

Mobile the Choice for Millennials

The old method of packing retail locations into malls to attract business has certainly lost its charm to consumers and nowhere more-so than with the prime millennial demographic, according to JLL Research.

With millennials accounting for such a prime slice of of the retail demographic, they cannot simply be ignored. According to the report. “they’re on track to spend $1.4 trillion annually by 2020, accounting for roughly 30 percent of all retail sales.”

What can retailers do to attract the millennial demographic?

The study from JLL Research suggests some strategies for appealing to millennials:

1.  Meet millennials via mobile and online  –  Millennials are technologically oriented and connect with the world through mobile devices. Mobile applications and mobile web sites are essential to connecting with millenials.

2. Offer coupons and sales –  Millennials like a good deal. While they collectively wield great spending power, individually many are unemployed or underemployed. Coupons and targeted promotions work well and research shows that 38% of millennials are influenced by savings-related signs and in-store displays (compared with 28% of all shoppers).

3. Have a physical location – Millennials prefer to buy in stores. JLL Research shows that millennials will seek out good deals online but gravitate to gathering places and experiences that retail properties can offer when it comes time to buy. This gives millennials an opportunity to touch the products prior to purchase as well. Millennials like to touch and try out product

By developing you marketing plans around the way millennials connect with the world, your business can benefit.

“Millenials have strong skills with mobile devices and are apt to use those skills when shopping,” according to Kimber Johnson, Managing Director Vanity Point, he continues, “they are quick to search product reviews and look for the best prices. Retailers that give them the tools they are looking for on their mobile applications and web sites are at a definite advantage when it comes to marketing to millennials.”

Mobile Pushes Purchase Decisions

According to the 3rd Annual US Mobile Path to Purchase Study,  mobile is pushing purchase decisions. Often the actual purchasing of those products is happening in physical stores but consumers are researching their decision on mobile devices beforehand, which creates an excellent opportunity for businesses that are prepared with a solid mobile strategy covering mobile applications and mobile friendly web sites.

“Mobile is becoming a increasingly more important way to drive in-store activity for businesses,” say Kimber Johnson, Managing Director of Vanity Point. “Consumers are looking to make decisions quickly and often with a local focus, so we are seeing businesses that are prepared are benefiting.”

Points of interest from the study include:

1) Over a third of mobile shoppers say that they use mobile exclusively or that mobile is their most important research tool.

2) 64 percent of mobile shoppers say they finish purchases in-store rather than on their mobile devices.

3) 53 percent of mobile shoppers call local businesses from mobile search results.

Ability to access an audience that is looking to buy on their preferred device is essential. The study also states that product research typically happens at the beginning of the purchase funnel and that 65 percent of shoppers said they complete the purchase that day.

“Designing and developing mobile applications for both the iOS and Android platforms and mobile web sites to support the consumers in store experience is helping push purchase decisions,” continues Mr. Johnson, “putting the tools consumers want in their hands is essential in the modern market.”