Ebusiness – how the mobile device has altered consumer behaviour & expectations, the importance of monitoring your social media channels
"Mobile to overtake fixed Internet access by 2014" was the prediction in 2008 from Mary Meeker, an analyst at Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers who reviews technology trends. With mobile now way surpassing desktop usage it's no longer a question as to whether mobile marketing is necessary. We must now look to understand how consumers’ behaviour alters when browsing on mobile devices and what the implications are. One thing has become obvious: mobile is taking over internet usage, from browsing, social media outlets and simply checking emails to completing transactions online. The message is clear – if you're not able to communicate with your target market through mobile technology, or your mobile experience is poor, you will lose out to competitors who are mobile-savvy. In fact, the majority of digital media consumption now takes place on mobile applications and this is set to increase.
Social media – friend or foe?
We have established that mobile app usage accounts for most of our time spent online, but what does this mean for you as a business? Well, with Facebook still the #1 app used within the UK, and with Instagram #6 while twitter is ranked at #12 we can see the importance of having an established social media presence for your business. LinkedIn continues to grow as a business to business tool, among groups with which it is already popular, such as professionals and university graduates. Having identified that a social media presence is a great way to get the word out about your business (otherwise known as social selling) and to connect with your customers, what’s next?
How do you monitor your business's social media activity?
Social media platforms are highly engaging, this can be both positive and negative for your business as we can see from the statistics:
- Social sellers are 51% more likely to reach their quotas than non- social sellers
- Over 50% of online consumers think it reflects negatively on a brand if a company is inactive or not present on social media
- Over 1 million people view tweets about customer service every week. Roughly 80% of those tweets are negative or critical in nature.
We can see the importance of monitoring your social media channels and responding to your customers, but creating a positive buzz about your company whilst establishing a constructive social media presence can be difficult, especially as social media users expect a response somewhat immediately. Microsoft Social engagement puts powerful social tools in the hands of your sales, marketing, and service teams such as social listening and sentiment analysis —assisting them to gain insight into how your audience feel about your business (and your competitors) and to proactively connect on social media with customers, advocates, and critics.
On the move with mobile – The importance of a responsive website
Whilst it is important to build a social and online presence it is equally important to look at the devices your audience will use to access these channels, starting with accessing your website. Customers want to visit a website and experience a page that appears to speak directly to their needs and is easy to navigate. Nothing says "we don't want your business" like an improperly configured web page. Mobile users are five times more likely to abandon the task they are trying to complete if the site isn’t optimised for mobile use, with 79 percent saying they will go back to search and try to find another site to meet their needs.
What is different about tablets and mobile devices is the variety in screen sizes. Websites can no longer be designed with a fixed number of pixels. Even gaming hardware, e-readers, and televisions can now browse websites. When designing a responsive website, factors such as click versus touch, display-size, pixel-resolution, compatibility for Adobe’s Flash, optimised mark-up and many more factors must be considered.
Google and Bing have stated that they value responsive web design and this can results in improved SEO and visibility. The major search engines are all about rewarding websites that deliver a great user experience and responsive websites that are built well offer this.
ebusiness suite, by Prodware is a full-package solution which allows you to create an e-commerce website, connected to Microsoft Dynamics ERP software. e-business suite is innovative e-commerce software, compatible with mobile devices, that allows businesses to increase their sales by widening their audience reach and speeding up the supply chain. This solution enables companies to easily manage their product catalogue, control their website design and utilise promotions and other marketing options to increase revenue and reduce operational costs.