Operating your business with a regular computer and old-fashioned landline phone? Fuhgeddaboudit! It's time to go mobile, baby.
Mobile matters.
Raise your hand if you have a smartphone. Ok, someone in your family has one. Well, with great phones from Apple and phones running the Android OS, if your business hasn’t started thinking about a mobile strategy yet … you should.
Gartner released numbers that project mobile advertising to hit $3.3 billion this year. That would imply that businesses out there realize that this is a market worth advertising in. That number is expected to grow to $20.6 billion by 2015.
Another quick fact is that in-store mobile browsing has grown by 78 percent since 2009. That means more of us are using our phones to shop for and learn about products. Is your business website ready for mobile browsers from these devices?
Some tools have been made available to you in order to make your website mobile ready. One of the more popular ones right now is Mobify. You can learn more about it at www.mobify.me. This service allows for a mobile version of your site to make shopping on it easier for mobile devices. If your website is running on WordPress, you can easily install a plug-in that detects the browser coming to your site, and then loads the regular version or a mobile-friendly version.
Of course, you can always go a step further and have your own iPhone/Android app. (Watch out — shameless plug is coming.) Most business owners I have talked to about this option have been under the impression that it’s too expensive, or they don’t understand how, for example, a restaurant could benefit from an app.
True, if you’re a big company wanting a huge and complex app it can be expensive; but that’s where economy of scale can benefit. My company provides a low cost subscription-based solution for developing an app for your company or organization, and it includes even “push notifications.”
This is where your company can make the most impact. A customer downloads your app and is now connected to you, the owner. Say you want to remind them of a drink special tonight — just send them an alert. All those installations now get a reminder alert letting them know of your new special, even when the app is not running.
So with the growing number of mobile devices trying to reach out and find your business, it’s important that your website has something to show them. People are looking for easier and faster ways to connect with the companies they wish to do business with, and mobile is the way they’re doing it. In June I’m putting together a free seminar on this topic to help out local businesses. Drop me an email at matt@origintech.net if you’d like to learn more about how mobile matters.

Editor’s note: Matt Chapman is an iPhone/iPad developer and owner of Origin Technologies, which can be reached by logging on to www.origintech.net. This article was reprinted with the permission of the East Orlando Sun.

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