More Than 11.8m People in The UK Use Mobile Internet to Buy Online

More Than 11.8m People in The UK Use Mobile Internet to Buy Online

If your website isn't optimised for mobile web browsing then you are missing out on a MAJOR opportunity! Read why here! www.bigthinkingonline.com

 

Ofcom have reported

That for the first time mobile usage of the internet has outpaced desktop usage. And while this is something that has been a mere inevitably for a long time the data suggests that people are now more reliant on their mobile phones than ever before.

 

Just take a look around at all of the establishments that now offer users Wifi access; Hotels, Pubs & Restaurant, Public Libraries, Trains, Buses, Gyms

 

If you couple that with the outstanding 4G internet access that is available across the UK you can understand why the growth of mobile has been so rapid and will continue to rise.

 

According to the report,

“By the end of 2014, 23.6 million people were using 4G mobile internet and more than half of them were using it to shop online.

 

The study also found that 4G users did more banking, instant messaging and video clip watching on their phones than those without.

 

In Britain, 90% of homes now have 4G access and that figure is set to rise to 98% by the end of 2017”

 

And it is then no wonder that according to the communications watchdog that “33% of Britons opted for Smartphones as the device of choice in 2014, ahead of 30% who preferred laptops.”

 

The Communications Market Report that is compiled every year by Ofcom to monitor the habits of UK users highlighted:

“UK Adults spent nearly 2 hours a day on average using the internet on their phones”,

said Jane Rumble, the Director of Market Intelligence at Ofcom.

“We’ve reached a landmark moment where the smartphone has become the most important way for people to get online – just last year laptops were in first place,” 

 

And it is then no wonder that according to the communications watchdog that “33% of Britons opted for Smartphones as the device of choice in 2014, ahead of 30% who preferred laptops.”

 

wifi

 

How Does the Growth in Mobile affect Businesses?

Well we know now as a fact that people prefer to use their mobile, spend nearly 2 hours per day on it and more than half of the 23.6 million people on 4G like shopping using their mobile device.

 

That is a big market and the truth is that if you want to capture a piece of that market then you have to make sure you accommodate those users, meaning you need a mobile responsive website so that users can have a simple and enjoyable experience browsing and buying from your website.

 

How can you tell if your website is mobile responsive?

If you navigate to your own website on your mobile phone, what does it look like? Is the experience good, can you easily navigate between pages and click on buttons? Is your contact information clearly visible? Can you click to call your phone number? All of these things when included on a mobile optimised site can drastically improve the effectiveness of your website on mobile browsers.

 

You could also check out how your phone website looks on other devices by testing it on a number of online emulators that give the experience a user would experience on different mobile devices or by using the Google Mobile Friendly Test Tool.

 

In this post we wrote earlier in the year in conjunction with the changes that Google were making in penalising non mobile responsive sites we walk through in greater detail how to check the effectiveness of your site for mobile users.

 

What changes need to be made in order to embrace mobile users?

In short the best thing to do is make sure your website loads quickly, is easy to navigate and links and buttons are easy to click on. Make it so that if someone wants to call you they can simply tap the number on the screen and it automatically dials your number.

 

Think of it from a user’s point of view, what information is most important to a user of your business? Make sure that information is accessible and fast.

  1. Make sure all text is in a big enough font size that it can be read easily.
  2. Make sure there is space between links as not everyone has dainty fingers.
  3. Content should be clear, visible and concise.

 

Technically there are more things that need to be addressed and Google provides developers with the following resources to help make their sites mobile friendly in their web fundamentals section.

 

Does It Really Matter If My Site Is Mobile Optimised?

People want access to information regardless of what device they are using and where they are. If the information on your site is not accessible because it is not in a format that allows them to navigate easily then they will move to a site that does accommodate them.

The UK is now a smartphone society!

 

If you are concerned that you are losing clients because your site is not mobile friendly then call us on 0161 850 4413 so we can help you get on the right track.

mOBILE REPORT BANNER for email

2013 Is The Time to Make Your Local Marketing Digital!

2013 Is The Time to Make Your Local Marketing Digital!

2013 Is The Time to Make Your Local Marketing Digital!

A recent study commissioned by Balihoo of 384 brand marketing executives in North America has shown how national brands will be prioritising their local marketing in 2013 with Digital tactics playing an increasingly important role.

Balihoo’s survey results are in line with other industry research showing the growing importance of local marketing for national brands,” said Pete Gombert, Balihoo’s CEO. But why is this?

One answer could be that the emergence of tools such as Google + Local means that local customers are now more inclined to leave reviews, search for local alternatives and expect more from a business they intend to spend their money with.

The strength of the Internet and Social Media now means that Local Marketing has gone global. A customer with a national base, for example a law firm with sites in several different cities, has good reason to focus their marketing in each local area as customers from Manchester will want to know what other Manchester customers think, not necessarily what a customers in Bristol found. Likewise, a bad review in one area could damage a reputation nationally and businesses need to be aware of how to best manage this.

expected_2013_marketing_spend

With 91% of the businesses surveyed expecting to spend the same or more on local marketing in 2013 as they did in 2012, local reputation, localised blogs and mobile sites are only going to become more relevant.

In fact, the top three areas earmarked for additional spending in 2013 were

  • Mobile,
  • Local Blogs,
  • Online Customer Reviews.

use_of_local_digital_tactics

*Images via Balihoo Research Micro Study: National Brand Use of Digital in Local Marketing

Interestingly, these are also the only three areas where 2013 spend is predicted to be higher than 2012 spending.

So where does this heightened interest in Local Marketing leave the existing Digital Marketing spend? Perhaps only time will tell, but companies that expect to spend more on local marketing in 2013, are currently using less digital tactics than ones not planning to spend more, and two of the biggest spending drops predicted for 2013 are Facebook and other Social Media sites.

At the moment, it has been the businesses with the largest turnovers that have placed the highest importance on Digital Marketing, perhaps because they have the biggest budgets to invest in what has been seen as emerging technology. This may all be set to change, as less than 5% of businesses ranking Digital Marketing as “Pointless” or “Unimportant” to their National Marketing success.

One thing that is usually certain though, where big businesses spend successfully, smaller businesses are generally quick to follow so it seems that 2013 will be the year of Digital Local Marketing!

Do you think 2013 will be the year of Digital Local Marketing? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

Mobile Web Development is Coming of Age – Are You Ready?

Mobile Web Development is Coming of Age – Are You Ready?

mobile-website-development-manchesterA recent 2012 PewInternet report stated that almost half of mobile phone owners and three quarters of smart phone owners use their phones to get real time location based information. This was up 55% from when the question “Do you ever use your mobile phone to get directions, recommendations, or other information related to your present location?” was asked in May 2011. source

That is a huge increase and one can only speculate that over time the demand for location based information will continue to increase rapidly due to the proliferation of smart phones, the commoditisation of data plans across the mobile networks and of course the adoption of social media into our everyday lives.

Why is Mobile Web Development so exciting for businesses?

As a business owner it means there are now even more ways to keep in touch with clients new and old, share news, information, offers and reviews on things we like, in effect humanising brands.

How can you benefit?

The potential for business growth is huge. Knowing that more and more people have the capacity to search, find and act upon mobile searches means that, as a business owner, putting yourself in a position to capitalise on these growing mobile web development trends is a must.

mobile web development

What should you do?

There are several things that a business can do to ensure its position at the forefront of mobile search.

1. Claim your local listings

There are a multitude of sites on the internet that list local businesses. The most prominent of all, due to its worldwide positioning and the fact that it drives the most traffic is Google.

Google’s local business listings allow businesses to not only put themselves on the map, but to actually bring that map to life. Think of the old saying, “it is not a house, it’s a home”. Google’s listing is not a sterile, fixed environment; it is dynamic as it allows you as the business owner to update your profile on a regular basis and more importantly it allows for the end user to interact with you too. Meaning you can really highlighting to others how great your experience really is.

Click on the following link to learn more about Google places!

2. Monitor your online reputation

With the ease of access to platforms where users can openly speak about what they like and what they don’t like, keeping an eye on what is being said about your business and brand online is a must. One bad review or comment that is not correctly addressed can result in bad publicity and ultimately the loss of business.

Stay on top of things, check your online presence and other internet sites for any mention of your name or your brand and keep the information fresh and up to date.

With 23 million smart phone users over the age of 13, an increase of over 50% year on Year, there has never been a better or more important time to put your business in the prime position to capitalise.

3. Get a mobile friendly website design

With one in five of every search on Google having a location based element, (e.g. Chiropractor, Altrincham) you need to make sure that if a user conducts a search for your business that not only are you positioned in the search engine results pages, but your website is accessible to the end user regardless of what device they are searching for you on.

The fact of the matter is that if the searcher is in an element of distress, and they need a plumber instantly (burst water pipe, Manchester), then if your website does not load quickly and they cannot find your details because your site is not mobile friendly then you stand the chance of losing a pre-qualified customer who was ready to do business.

To learn more about how your mobile friendly website can help grow your business click on the button below.

Mobile report

 

Mobile Friendly Website Design – Why Does Your Business Need One?

Mobile Friendly Website Design – Why Does Your Business Need One?

A Mobile friendly Website Design is More Important than Ever…

mobile friendly website designIn the UK there are 23 million smart phone users over the age of 13, an increase of over 50% year on year.*

57% of customers said they would not recommend a business with a poor mobile experience, while 40% said they would switch to a competitor offering a better one, according to a 2011 study by Compuware.

Mobile users typically search locally and immediate intent. In its study “Understanding the Mobile Movement,” Google found:

  •  77% of smart phone users engage in mobile search.
  • Nearly 90% of those mobile searches led to action within a day.
  • 53% led to a purchase – either in-store or online. Google’s study further found that 60% of mobile
  • 1 out of every 5 searches on a mobile is for a local business.

What Does this Mean for You?

When a prospective client lands on your website from a Google search on their mobile phone it’s highly likely they are looking for your products, services or experience at that precise moment. They are likely to be in the area and want to either call in, book an appointment or purchase from you.

The downside to this is when they are directed to your site and it is not optimised for mobile it will not display properly. In fact, any websites built with Flash will not display at all on iPhones or iPads. 35.1 million iPhones were sold in Q2 2012 alone and they will just show a blank screen.

If users cannot easily find the information they are looking for they will simply click back to the search engine and go to your competitor’s website that is mobile optimised.

Mobile browsers want fast results with ease of navigation. They are not looking to read all your content on your website in the same way that a regular computer user will. They are dynamic, they are on the move and they want to know what you have, how to find you and how to contact you right now!

What does a mobile friendly website design look like?

The difference between a mobile friendly website and a non optimised mobile site

Let’s first discuss what a mobile site actually isn’t. Undertaking mobile website development does not mean getting a smaller version of your site. A mobile site, as pictured above has different functionality and is developed to meet those specific needs.

It should have 4 or 5 tabs only in the centre of the screen that provides simple navigation for the user and presents the most relevant information to them.

For example a mobile friendly website could have:

  • Click to Call
  • Location Map
  • About Us
  • Menu
  • Specials

The benefit of this is that if the user is mobile then they don’t have to copy your phone number down they can simply tap the screen to instigate a call, they can be directed to a map of your location so they can find you and see any special offers that you have which could be tailored to mobile users.

70% of businesses globally are not capitalising on mobile marketing (source econsultancy)  which leaves businesses that embrace the convergence of social, mobile and local search poised to enjoy the most success.

To find out exactly how we can help you win the lion’s share of your local and highly targeted mobile search users download our Free Report by clikcing the button below.

*Source: comScore MobiLens, UK, Age 13+, January 2011 vs 2012

Mobile report