Accessing the internet on mobile phones has been one of the fastest growing technology trends over the last few years. UK consumers have rushed to buy smart phones, with ownership almost doubling in the past couple of years.
As a result, businesses really need to wise up to the evolving mobile website landscape.
Mobile commerce leaves companies behind
Worryingly, smaller UK businesses are falling behind in this mobile world, missing out on vital sales and new customers.
‘Digital Dinosaurs’ research conducted by BaseKit (the company I work for) shows just 9% of businesses say their websites can be used with mobile phones and tablets.
The same research found 45% of internet users use a mobile device to access the web and that 6% have shopped online from their mobile phone. This means people are spending up to £1.3 billion via ‘on the move’ purchases.
This confirms the shift to mobile is being led by consumers, which means it’s vital businesses reconsider their mobile internet presence.
Mobile commerce grows fast
The risk businesses are facing is that they’ll miss out on mobile custom. Many believe creating a mobile-friendly site is too costly or complicated.
However, with reports predicting purchases made using smart phones could make up 12% of all ecommerce, smaller companies can’t afford to ignore the mobile trend. There are a number of options available to create mobile websites – not all of them complicated - and they can ensure mobile visitors have a good website experience.
Half a million aren’t online
Our report also found that, while vast numbers of the UK’s 1.1 million small businesses (1 – 49 employees, 2011 Government figure) are online, there are still 660,000 that have yet to get themselves online at all.
Even those companies that have got to grips with the web are risking falling behind by not creating sites that can be used on mobile phones.
Perhaps most notably, we found that businesses really do worry about falling behind the pace of technology change. Half say they are ‘concerned’ or ‘very concerned’ that they are being overtaken by changes including the advance of mobile internet usage.
Quite simply, it’s time smaller companies invested in becoming fully accessible to customers using mobile internet. If they don’t, the risk of losing out on future custom is very real.
- A mobile website can net you more customers
- Mobile apps vs. mobile websites
- How to optimise your website for smart phones
Ramandeep Sambi is an online marketing executive at BaseKit.