If you run a business that caters to consumers (as opposed to other businesses), you’re already aware of the importance of maintaining an online presence. You know that the Internet is invaluable to most modern consumers in researching their buying decisions and making actual purchases. The latest evolution in online business technology is a fundamental shift from desktop computers to mobile devices.
The Exponential Growth Of Mobile Shopping
Since the introduction of Apple’s iPhone, the adoption rate of “smart” phones and other mobile devices that make it easy to access the Internet has been explosive. Few other technologies have shown such a rapid advance in such a short time. Smartphones went from being luxurious curiosities to essential tools with a head-spinning quickness. When tablets appeared a few years later, they followed a similar growth curve.
Retailers and business owners who made some or all of their sales online watched this trend with interest, and for several years the question on everyone’s lips was, “when do we have to change our strategies to account for this?” The answer to that question has become quite clear: The time to start catering to mobile shoppers is now — if you haven’t started already.
The Tipping Point
The fundamental point where mobile visitors became more important than desktop visitors is hard to pin down, but one thing is certain: That point is in the past. eCommerce giant Shopify reported that the balance of mobile users vs desktop users going to online stores had shifted to favor mobile devices in 2014; Google reported a similar shift in online searches in 2016.
The implication here should be clear: If your online strategy doesn’t account for mobile customers, you may be in serious trouble. Even though mobile shopping still represents a smaller fraction of total dollars spent online — estimated to be one-quarter of all the money spent online this year — you don’t want to be left out in the cold as the mobile shopping economy continues to grow.
Takeaways For Business Owners
The question of how to best adjust to a mobile-heavy marketplace is really about how your marketing strategy needs to evolve. If you’re not already considering the needs of the mobile-using customer when you design your marketing tools you need to start doing so. Updating your sales funnel and your buying mechanisms to simplify things for mobile users will start paying serious dividends as soon as you do it.
You’ll want to bear in mind that the ideal solution here isn’t to abandon desktop users for mobile shoppers. You need a strategy that caters to both. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to do this both in terms of technical options (responsive websites and emails, for instance) and in terms of marketing tactics (specialized landing pages and sales funnels for customers using mobile devices). It does require more effort on your part, but the alternative is to miss out on potential customers.
With mobile browsing — and more importantly, mobile shopping — becoming increasingly dominant across all consumer sectors, today’s forward-thinking businesses aren’t just taking their companies online. They’re also taking them into the mobile space, and that’s exactly where you need to be going as well.