Do you spend more time on your smartphone or on your PC? Research shows that over the last year on average we spent longer on our phones than we did on our PCs. Mobiles phones are no longer just for texting and phone calls; smartphones have opened up a whole new realm of technology. From watching TV to reading a book to listening to music to taking photographs – smartphone functionality is breathtaking.
What does this mean for small business? How can your small business tap into this new technology?
- ‘Mobilise’ your website: mobile websites are specifically designed for the smaller screen and slower upload speed of a phone rather than a PC. Mobile sites are also easier and more straightforward to navigate on a phone. Google knows if the person searching is using a mobile and will rank mobile-enabled sites higher – and the higher your site is ranked, the more traffic your website will get! If your mobile site content is easy to access, your customers are more likely to use you than your competitors.
- QR codes: 50% of smartphone users have downloaded an app for scanning QR codes. QR stands for Quick Response. A QR code can be scanned by a smartphone app and could automatically link to your website, a money saving coupon, your Facebook page, latest newsletter or Twitter account – or whatever you like! QR codes are low cost to generate but can give your business a great insight into your customers habits. You can find out the number of scans, where the codes were scanned, what time, what date and so on. QR codes can be printed on your offline marketing – from billboards to business cards. Make sure your landing page from the QR code is mobile friendly though (see above) or you’ll turn customers off.
- Snaptags: these are similar to QR codes in that your customers get instant access to your information and special offers. However instead of scanning it they can just take a photo of the Snaptag with their smartphone. Basically a Snaptag incorporates your logo into a code – further increasing your brand awareness. With a Snaptag rather than a QR code it is more obvious what your giving your customers – a call to action, a special offer, social media interaction – and more.
- Take payments on your phone: there are apps available that allow you to process credit and debit card payments using your smartphone as a payment terminal. No credit or debit card details are stored on the phoned so not a problem with regard to your customer’s data security and it allows you to take payments when you’re out and about. This application for smartphones can be really useful for small businesses when taking payment over the phone or when at shows or events. Taking immediate payments will boost your cash flow – meaning less invoicing and chasing delayed payments.
Smartphone technology can be a very practical addition to your marketing strategy, a boost to your cashflow or a helpful device to improve your social media campaign. Don’t be frightened of the new technology – most of it is easy to understand, low cost and a great way to reach out to potential customers. The world of the smartphone is only just beginning – turn it to your advantage.