Mobile Platforms are Taking Over
The world has become significantly more mobile over the last few decades as technological advances proliferated, with smartphone and tablet adoption in recent years ushering in a whole new level of mobility. Today, businesses of all sizes need to pursue mobility in one form or another in order to remain competitive and ensure overall success. However, there are a number of avenues businesses can take, from optimizing the company website for mobile platforms to equipping staff with mobile technology such as robust virtual phone services. Having a powerful mobile platform can increase your business potential.
The Pew Internet Project recently released a few data points related to mobile technology, finding that as of January 2013, 26 percent of American adults own an e-reader, and 31 percent own a tablet computer. In addition, the research showed that 55 percent of U.S. adult cellphone owners use their handset to access the internet, which is twice as many recorded three years ago. In a recent Mashable article, contributor Leyl Master Black explored the mobility data and offered up a few ways for small businesses to prepare operations for mobile. Black also referenced another recent study by digital ad management company Marin Software, which found that its clients saw Google paid-search clicks on mobile devices increase to 23.4 percent from 14.2 percent by the end of 2012.
Enhancing the customer experience by optimizing for mobile
According to Black, the first step on the road to becoming a “mobile-savvy” business is optimizing the website for browsing on mobile platforms.
“If you’re able to create a mobile-only or responsive design version of your site, start by choosing which content makes the most sense for mobile users – and leave out the rest,” Black wrote. “Mobile visitors are likely looking for specific information, such as hours of operation or directions to your business, not your company’s history or customer testimonial videos. If you don’t have the resources to create a mobile-only version, you can still make some small changes to your main website that will greatly improve the mobile navigation experience.”
It could also be helpful to think about how mobile users will be navigating through a website using devices with smaller screens and the unique demands they will consequently have. Black also suggested making sure that all business listings are up to date and the company can easily be found using a variety of apps and search engines.
Small Businesses Embrace Mobility
Another way for small businesses to embrace mobility could be to equip all staff with tablets and/or mobile devices for business use. A virtual business phone system from AccessDirect can provide even the smallest, most dispersed workforce with reliable service that can be used on existing mobile devices, so no additional electronics will need to be purchased. With AccessDirect’s hosted PBX system, business users can provide top-quality customer service regardless of location.
In a recent Small Business Trends article, contributor TJ McCue outlined a number of ways that tablets can enable remote workers to improve business operations. Tablets and mobile devices use can be implemented to further connect with the customer and improve internal communications as well with functionality such as video conferencing. Mobile platforms can also be used to bring sales to the customer, conduct training, manage customer relationships, share and collaborate on corporate documents and much more.