Consumers are increasingly using their smartphones to find local businesses, which means your company could benefit greatly from creating a mobile version of its website — not an app, but a version of your site that works and looks good on a smart phone screen.
For instance, if several friends are looking for a place nearby to have an impromptu dinner — and they can’t browse your restaurant’s menu on their phones — they may choose to eat elsewhere, says Carrie Chitsey, CEO of 3Seventy, a mobile marketing company.
“Not having a mobile website is hurting a small business’s revenues,” she says.
Although the cost of building a mobile app may be out of your reach, the cost of developing a mobile website shouldn’t be. 3Seventy charges as little as $100 to build a mobile website, whereas developing a full-fledged mobile app ranges from $1,500 to more than $30,000, she adds.
A mobile website involves more than merely shrinking your current website to fit the tiny screen of a smartphone. You should consider redesigning the site’s contents so customers may easily access and navigate all of the information on their phones.
Here are three more reasons you need a mobile website:
- Mobile websites download faster than traditional websites. Cell phone service can still be spotty in places, and if it takes too long to download a website — because there are too many photos, graphics, or other intricate features — then customers can quickly become frustrated and often search for another website.
- It’s easier to click around a mobile website to get information. The information on a mobile website is pared down and streamlined, usually into lists. That’s because mobile users often seek only the basic details about a business: location, hours, phone number, products/services offered, prices, and any special promotions or discounts. Mobile users are less likely to be interested in a long history of the business or photos of the owner’s pet dog.
- Nearly half of the adults in the U.S. now own a smartphone. According to Google, 97 percent of consumers search for local businesses online. In a survey by Localeze, 61 percent of smartphone users say that they search for local information on their devices. The reason? They want to get information fast. Meanwhile, the number of smartphone users continues to climb: Nearly half of American adults now own a smartphone, according to Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.