Firstly, here are some notable statistics. According to the eMarketer report, only 52% of U.S. small businesses confirmed that their website was mobile optimized. Moreover, the report also shows that only 14% have built mobile-optimized emails and 11% use SMS marketing; it means that 40% of small businesses do not have any of these mobile-friendly marketing activities.
A survey from RBC Capital Markets in Sept 2015 found that over two-thirds of U.S. SMBs are without a mobile-optimized website.
Mobile now rules the world of online business
In U.S. today, 68% of all U.S. adult population owns a smartphone – 83% of Millennial-aged adults, 87% of people living in households earning over $75,000 annually, according to Pew Research. And they are not only using smartphone to texting or tweeting; they often use their smartphone for online shopping. In fact, the research by Connexity found that 73% of global online shopping happens on a mobile device.
When the market share of mobile shopping is increasing quickly, mobile-friendly website is a must-have. Mobile has changed the consumer environment; the personalization is fast becoming the rule and then mobile optimization also becoming an essential first step. If you want to deliver any type of personalized user experience for all business size, target audience or industry segment, mobile is too important to be ignored.
You want to implement the secondary initiatives like mobile-optimized email campaigns and SMS promotions, optimize your website for mobile is the first step that you need to be done. These extra-website mobile initiatives are important, but I want to emphasize the importance of building a mobile friendly website, it will be a stable foundation stone of your mobile digital marketing strategies.
Options to going mobile
Yes, the first thing you need to do is make your site become mobile friendliness. This part, we are going to talk about how to create a mobile-friendly website. Broadly speaking, if you are a SMB, there are 3 options to go for mobile:
- Create a mobile website (M-dot website)
- Create or redesign your site with Responsive Web Design
- Create a mobile app
Mobile website or m-dot website is quite popular method. Mobile website is defined as a separate website version that has been developed to work on a mobile device and its browser. The mobile version has been designed to accommodate the smaller handheld displays and touchscreen of mobile devices. But the dead point of this method is we need to put “m.” in front of a domain name (For example: m.yoursite.com). One more weakness point, this method brings some problems about SEO like duplicate content, and website owners need to running and maintaining 2 separate websites at the same time.
Responsive web design
Responsive websites are becoming more and more popular. Different with m-dot website, responsive website has only web version with all content but it will automatically resize it to fit the specs of the particular device or screen on which it displays. It means that the end users will have a consistent experience on every device (desktop, smartphone, tablet, etc…). In this way, responsive web design offers a handy-dandy design solution to our cross-device conundrum.
While mobile website and RWD are popular mobile optimization solutions, there are many brands have found success with another way: mobile apps. Today, we have 3 main types of mobile applications: native apps, mobile web apps and hybrid mobile apps:
- Native Mobile Apps: they are the native apps on mobile that don’t need to be connected to the Internet to be used. We can found them on popular app marketplaces like Apple’s App Store and Google Play. These applications have superior performance and great user experience but they require the greater time and development resources to create and maintain them.
- Hybrid Mobile Apps: the combination of two. Hybrid apps can operate as native apps with embedded HTML and produce cross-platform apps that access a mobile device’s native features. We can found them on app marketplaces like native apps but they often require updates from the web to function in order to work.
The research shows that nearly half (48%) of U.S. small businesses who said their sites are not mobile optimized. It means still a lot of valuable opportunities in mobile commerce have been missed. When mobile commerce is becoming a majority trend in business, a mobile-friendly website is a key condition to join the game. You need to go on mobile quickly because your customers are expecting it.
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