Guest post by Caleb Page
In a world where you can monitor emails, update websites, and play games with mobile, it’s questionable how much time you need to spend in front of a desktop or laptop computer. You can even check airfares, make plane reservations, and then use your smartphone as the boarding pass.
As a small business owner, I love the ability to check bank balances (and make that once in a while transfer) from the comfort of my couch, car, or bed. At day’s end, it’s great to make the deposits using photos of the checks received.
With JPMorgan predicting a ¼ – ½% fourth quarter GDP increase due to the release of the iPhone5, all small business owners must pay attention to how they invest their online advertising spend.
Small Business and Mobile Customers
But the above examples are about your convenience, the business owner. What is it your customers are doing on handheld devices? There are quite a bit of studies that have already been done with Google leading the way.
For a fun afternoon of reading, look at thinkwithGoogle. Here are some points that should get your interest:
- 77% of the time viewers watch TV, it is with another device; 49% with a smartphone, 34% with a laptop. My three year old has watched more Netflix on his mom’s Android than her PC. We don’t even own a TV. This makes commercials kind of difficult.
- For those that are curious about who is buying using smartphones, look at the infographic below – 35% of handheld device owners make purchases using their smartphones:
A September 2012 Pew Internet & American Life Project report update on smartphone ownership finds “45% of American adults own smartphones. They are particularly popular with young adults and those living in relatively higher income households; 66% of those ages 18-29 own smartphones, and 68% of those living in households earning $75,000 also own them.” Here’s their infographic:
For more trends information, look at this presentation by Tim Peter:
Small Business and Mobile Marketing
In one of my businesses, I recently compared our desktop and mobile Adwords campaigns and found that the cost per click of mobile keywords was nearly 30% less than those in the desktop campaigns:
A quick check of Analytics data showed over 23% of traffic was coming from handheld devices – here’s a snapshot from that business over the same period:
What are small business owners doing? Web.com’s infographic shows 61% of small business owners are not currently promoting their site through mobile search:
Small Business Mobile Action Plan
What can you do right now?
- Get a smartphone. If you want to attract customers, you need to start shopping like they do. It’ll cost you a couple of hundred bucks and a two year commitment. The insights you’ll get about your customer base are easily worth the investment. If you prefer (or if you think your kids or significant other will prefer), get a tablet. It will make you feel like a hero at home and it should be a business expense, although I’m not an accountant.
- Look at your website on a smartphone. Try calling your business, requesting a quote, buying something, whatever it is you want your prospective customers to do. Think about how the experience felt to you.
- Get your website optimized for smartphone. Mike’s Small Biz Tracks are just the solution. You’ll be surprised at how inexpensively you can get your website converted. There are free options, paid do it yourself options, and paid full service options. It’s all a matter of how you like to spend your time. Personally, I’m going to get back to taking more deposit pictures of checks.
About the author: Caleb Page is a business strategy expert who owns multiple service businesses. You can read more insights at his small business blog.