Think of your favorite local retailers in town. Sally’s Donut Shop, Harry’s Dry Cleaning Service, Don’s Tire Place.
Do your favorite local retailers have a website? Does Sally write a weekly blog post on hers? Is Harry, whose been in dry cleaning for 40 years, the biggest supporter of cleaning forums on his? Does Don have photos of all his tires on his website?
Probably not. And the research proves it. 47% of all small businesses–especially local retailers in the U.S.– don’t have a traditional website.
Why not? Well, here’s a quiz. Think about each question and write true or false on your computer screen with an erasable marker. (O.k., you can use Evernote instead .)
- Sally, Harry and Don are simply behind the times; they don’t realize they need a website
- Customers, they think, just walk in the door for donuts, dry cleaning and tires when they need them.
- Local coupons and ads in the Pennysaver, BBB membership and the annual Retail Appreciation Week are enough
- No one has ever shown them how a mobile website can boost business and stay in touch with customers
So, how many questions did you get right? If you answered “true” to #1 and #4, go to the head of the classroom and get a free donut from Brian. If you’re a mobile geek who answered the same way, you probably don’t like technophobes and own two iPhones. But…you get the free donut anyway.
If you jumped for joy and said TRUE for #4 (don’t understand mobile websites), you get to hear a brilliant podcast about local retailers and mobile marketing with Bryce Marshall. Plus you get a donut too.
Why Local Retailers DO Need MOBILE Websites if not DESKTOP Websites
Many cell phone users without mobile browsers jumped to smartphones in the past two years. They got caught in the fast-growing smartphone market without even having a phone with a WAP browser, Google Maps, GPS and other features found on inexpensive phones.
Likewise, local retailers are jumping to mobile websites without having a desktop Internet site.
Mobile Strategy and Building a Site
O.k. You’re a local retailer who’s ready to launch a mobile site. First…stop and think. What do you want your new Web tool to do? Increase sales? Help customers better understand your products and services? Complement your current marketing programs making them more effective? Building a better customer list for email campaigns? That’s step one.
Step two is figuring out how to build your new mobile website. As local retailers continue launching sites, they’re many choices to make about design, content and hosting. My podcast interview with Annette Tonti at Mofuse may help.
In future posts, we’ll talk more about how to fine-tune your website. But to get you started, take a look at this article on seven platforms to consider. Subscribe to MobileBeyond so you don’t miss the next installment about getting on the mobile Web.