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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Should your website also come in a mobile version?

As a small business owner, you have probably realized more and more how important online sales are, but should you also have a mobile version of your site too? A mobile site is a version of a website created specifically for smartphones or tablets (like iPads, Kindle Fires, HP Touchpads, etc). Companies create mobile versions of their site because their regular website may take too long to load or may seem squashed on the smaller screens of these mobile devices. When a customer visits a site via their mobile device, the browser automatically detects the mobile device and switches to the mobile version of the website. (To see some examples, visit ae.com or papajohns.com on your computer and then visit these sites on your mobile device.)



If you have a great, working website, why spend the time and money on a mobile version too? According to a recent article on Mashable.com, tablet users typically spend 10-20% more on purchases than customers without tablets. Also, mobile commerce spending was about $3 billion in 2010 in the U.S. and is expected to jump to $31 billion by 2016.

You may also be wondering who is using tablets. U.S. tablet owners are:
-college graduates (51%)
-employed full-time (62%)
-earning salaries of $100,000+ (50%).



54 million people are estimated to own tablets by early 2012 and nearly 108 million by 2015 (a third of U.S. population).

Is a mobile version of your website right for you? Make sure you do your homework! Ask yourself some important questions (and some questions of your customers):
-How easy/hard is your website to read and navigate on a mobile device?
-What technical expertise is needed to create a mobile site? Does your web developer have these skills?
-How much will it cost to create and maintain?
-Poll your customers: Do they currently own a mobile device? Do they use their mobile device to shop? Do they think a mobile version of your website would be easier to use on their mobile device?

As an agricultural business owner, have you had any customer feedback about online or mobile shopping? How much of your profits is related to online or mobile shopping?

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