5 Reasons Why Businesses Need to Adopt Mobile Technology NOW

There’s no denying that, as individuals, mobile technology already plays a major role in our lives. We rarely put our phones down for a second – except when we go to bed – and are constantly tapping away at social media accounts, apps and games.

According to the latest findings from Ofcom, we spend about 114 minutes a day browsing the internet on our phone. In comparison, only 69 minutes is spent on desktop-based browsers. The fact is, smartphones and tablets are convenient.

And in order to make a quick impact and get in front of general consumers, businesses must make the most of mobile technology, or else they risk falling behind competitors.

How should firms look at it?

Well, if mobile technology is introducing opportunities for individual users, then there are also going to be big potential benefits for businesses.

Don’t get left behind

Crazes always come and go, however, mobile technology is an exception. It’s become an evolution rather than something trivial. Go back to 2007, when Apple announced the first-generation iPhone, smartphones were new. Not many people knew much about them.

Fast forward to 2016, and more people are using mobile technology than ever. Most companies – especially those that sell products and services targeted at consumers – have mobile integrated into their operations. That can be anything from a responsive website to an app where customers can make orders.

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Being late to adopt mobile technology is rare, but it’s not completely unheard of. While most large corporations have big budgets in place to utilise new technologies, things can be different for smaller firms. Traditional SMEs, such as a family-owned bakery or butchers, may prefer to stick to common methods of operation, for example, word-of-mouth.

Yes, if a customer goes to a bakery and likes their cakes, they’ll likely tell their family and friends. But in this day and age, so much more can be said online. By making the most of social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as websites and apps, businesses can make and spread conversation about their products. And they can also reach out to customers directly.

Your customers want mobile apps

Customers have the internet at their fingertips so expect information and support fast. If they aren’t happy, who’s stopping them from going to a competitor? No one. Nowadays, most firms offer customer support and information services online or through apps.

If someone’s not happy with the shoes they’ve bought, they’ll probably reach out to the retailer or manufacturer online. As a company, you need to have a presence to be there for your customers and to be taken seriously overall. If a consumer wants something, they won’t pay a trip to town. They’ll likely do a quick Google search or open up an app.

The key is to remember that quality is better than quantity. You don’t need to have thousands of followers or the best app to show you care. If you use digital technology smartly and offer a great user experience, customers will be happy.

You could have an app with a plethora of features that’s slow and ugly or a simple app that looks and flows great. Which is preferred by the user? The one that’s easy-to-use and gets the job done.

Adopt mobile technology throughout your business

With this all being said, it’s fair to say having a mobile-first approach in place is pivotal if a business is to succeed in today’s interconnected world.

Tom Bourlet, an experienced digital marketer, explains that having fast, easy-to-use websites and apps is a must. Demonstrating the importance here, a Google study found that 74% of people will return to a website if it’s responsive.

“Mobile overtook desktop for website visits in 2014, while mobile usage has only increased as the web has got consistently faster and websites have become responsive. For many businesses, the ability to offer the greatest navigation and ease of use, the fastest load time and the greatest experience will allow them to dominate their industry,” he tells us.

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Search engine Google is already prioritising businesses that put mobile first. Steve Morgan, a freelance SEO consultant, says:

“Back in April 2015, Google started to give more weight to mobile-optimized websites for searches conducted on mobile devices. It was dubbed Mobile-geddon, and many websites used it as an excuse to revamp their websites and get them in line with Google’s regulations on the mobile front.”

“Put simply, if your website is not mobile optimized but your competitors’ websites are, then they may stand more chance of appearing higher in Google than you. So it makes sense to create a website for your app that is responsive and performs well on mobile devices.”

App-y times for your business and customers

While people still use company websites, apps are proving to be more popular. Umbrella Host, a cloud hosting firm based in the UK, is one of many businesses using mobile apps to make things easier for customers. It’s launched an app where users can tailor their services.

Adil Seedat, Co-founder and senior manager at the firm, says:

“We deployed a custom mobile app for existing customers to manage their services with us. It greatly enhanced our service offering with the ability to cross-sell related products more quickly and easily to existing clientèle. A responsive version our client area and hosting control panel was also introduced for those users that didn’t use the mobile app.”

The company and its clients have been noticing a plethora of benefits.

“Depending on your business model, a mobile app can be extremely useful for existing clients. For existing clients, this is extremely useful as they have quick and direct access to their services wherever they may be, and as a business, we can upsell much more of our product range based on services they are currently subscribed to,” Seedat continues.

“New clients would definitely be more receptive to a mobile friendly website due to the growing number of users that now use their smartphones and/or tablets to access the web. There has been a positive growth in the visitors to the site as a whole and the bounce rates have significantly been reduced.”

Use a variety of mobile tech

The key to adopting and making the most of mobile technology is having the correct strategies in place. Businesses must also make use of a wide variety of technology, rather than just having a mobile-optimized website. Hayley Smith, who runs agency Boxed Out PR, explains:

“Marketing strategies should be created around mobile, and businesses should adopt a strong mobile strategy, which implements more than just a mobile-ready website.”

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“Apps and virtual reality should be assets that businesses consider investing in. And mobile tech is bypassing radio and TV, and location-based marketing allows businesses to target their audiences directly with targeted coupons, offers, and promotions.”

“If businesses don’t adopt a strong mobile strategy, they are missing out on a huge percentage of a readily awaiting audience. And without mobile tech, businesses will lose out to competitors and will damage customer loyalty and retention.”

It couldn’t be clearer that utilising mobile technology is critical to firms surviving in the 21st century, and business owners need to be aware of this. And, of course, that doesn’t mean simply opting for a responsive website.

By: Nicholas Fearn (Contributing Writer)