Mobile commerce or m-commerce–marketing products and services over the mobile Web– is growing gangbusters. But the average small business isn’t using it.
Only 12% of small companies with fewer than 99 employees and 21 percent of medium-sized enterprises have a mobile website. 44% of larger companies do. 50% of companies plan to have one by year’s end before even launching a regular website.
According to a recent article in Small Business Computing, mobile commerce is growing faster than e-commerce, due in part says comScore to the 66 million smartphones in the U.S. today. That’s up from 46 million only a year ago. The figures don’t include tablet computers.
And despite the hype over mobile apps, an Adobe Systems study says mobile shoppers prefer to buy on a mobile website than through a mobile application.
Mobile Commerce Sales Opportunities for Small Businesses
Business marketers have a wealth of opportunities to engage with mobile consumers throughout the sales cycle in a mobile store. But only if they create mobile-friendly websites that are attractive and easy to navigate.
Three mobile commerce best practices are:
• Giving incentives to customers to shop on the mobile Web
• Focusing on existing customers
• Providing mobile coupons and other mobile-only incentives
• Setting up mobile security anti-virus and anti-malware software
• Helping customers develop an “m-commerce habit.”
Why You Need a Mobile Website
Small Business Computing gives compelling reasons for business mobile sites. Keeping the competition at bay is certainly one of them. But offering mobile commerce on the mobile Internet provides lots of benefits:
- Customers who use mobile phones tend to stay in closer touch and develop stronger relationships with local businesses. Having a mobile site is even more critical for retail chains so customers can find your stores, telephone numbers and hours you’re open
- Whether you’re a small, medium or large business, mobile, combined with other media, is even more powerful. You can play off an ad in your local newspaper driving customers to your mobile site. While on their phones, mobile consumers can get information about products and services they want–information that drives them into your stores.
Smartphone growth in 2011 mandates that every small business set up an online mobile site and discover the effectiveness of mobile commerce.
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