M-commerce: Why even small businesses should be thinking about it
If you run a business, you have a lot on your plate. Inventory, marketing, payroll-it’s all important and it’s all up to you to keep the business going and thriving, even in this current turbulent economic climate. Having an internet presence is so important that a new business may actually fail if they aren’t able to harness the immense power of the internet and use it to their advantage. Keeping up with all of this can be a little overwhelming and now there is something else to think about-mobile commerce: M-Commerce. Having a good website is the first step to mobile commerce for your small business, but now with the advent of smart phones and the explosion that the whole industry is headed towards means that you need to make your company mobile ready. There are a few ways to do it, so let’s look at what they are:
- The most common way that smaller businesses participate in m-commerce is simply by having a great website. Many people do all their internet browsing on a handheld device and studies about cell phone usage are starting to show that people are turning to their phones to find retailers in their immediate location. If your coffee shop doesn’t have a website and someone is using an app that finds local coffee places, your store might show up for them, but they won’t get a feel for what you offer. Having a website that represents your brand will drive more customers to your front door, even if you don’t have any online shopping.
- Taking your mobile interface a step further could really increase traffic to your store and your site. Many businesses, even small ones, are getting into the trend of having an additional website that is optimized for mobile access. With web pages designed for viewing on smaller screens (like the relatively standard 3-4inch screen on smart phones) your business could be attracting new customers every day. The more people enjoy coming to your site, the more often they will be back and the more business you will generate. If you’ve already got a website designed, it won’t be too difficult or expensive to add a mobile component. If you are just getting started, be sure to include the mobile pages when you design your website or have a designer do the work for you. Being a step ahead of the game from the start is a key to long term success-especially if that step doesn’t cost a small fortune to take.
- The final way to have an m-commerce presence may be out of reach for small businesses and relatively unnecessary anyway. The big guys, like Target and Amazon need to have a mobile shopping app to keep customers connected and shopping. This might be the future for small business, but not yet.
M-commerce is here to stay. It might be in its infancy right now and seem like a fad or a gimmick, but as smart phones become the norm, so will this way of doing business.
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