A major new study of online business sentiment by eBay reveals that small businesses are finally waking up the importance of a mobile strategy.
Of the 307 eBay and other online business that partners YouGov spoke to, almost 1 in 4 of small businesses are planning on introducing a mobile optimised site or app in the next 12 months alone.
“This is the firing of the starting gun to capture the mobile shopping revolution” argues, Johnny Gabbai, Head of Mobile at eBay. “Small businesses are finally waking up to the power of mobile”.
This means that by the end of this year, over half of all small businesses who currently have an online presence, will have developed a mobile strategy and optimised their mobile presence. Of those who already had a mobile presence, 45% had seen an increase in sales conversions as a result, with almost 1 in 10 seeing an increase by over 20%.
Advice for developing your mobile site or app from eBay’s Johnny Gabbai
Always remember that a mobile visitor is looking for a few key pieces of information: how to get in touch with you, directions to your office, a phone number they can click on, and a simple and easy purchasing system. Forget lengthy biographies, mission statements or downloadable files. My top tips for developing your mobile strategy are:
Keep it simple
Cut down everything you’ve written again and again. Then keep the site layout itself simple. This will also speed up the site, as mobile pages load slower than traditional web pages.
Fight fat finger syndrome
Remember the screen is small and most of us have trouble typing on tiny keyboards at the best of times. Keep data entry to a minimum, and make sure the content is big enough that everyone can see. Remember, white backgrounds can be clean and classy as well. Don’t be afraid of space.
Allow People to Visit the Full Site
There will always be someone who wants to know more. Give them the option of moving to the full site.
Mobile website, mobile app or mobile marketplace?
If you have a website it should definitely be mobile optimised for 2015.
I’m not so sure about mobile apps though, you need to have a compelling reason for consumers to install your app and so does every other retailer out there. Most consumers won’t want an app on their smart phone taking up storage and chewing data unless they use it frequently. If you’re wondering where to put your development dollars think mobile web first and mobile app a very much second option if at all.
Saying mobile apps might not be the best option doesn’t mean you should ignore them though, jump on the back of eBay and Amazon’s marketplace apps. Don’t forget other marketplaces such as Etsy and NotOnTheHighStreet also have mobile apps (although the later is only available for Apple devices). Before you consider developing your own mobile app, invest in your marketplace listings to make sure they look just as slick on a mobile as they do on a desktop.