Within the next 3 years, there will be a dramatic shift of perception as to what encompasses an Internet presence. While today more than 90% of websites aren’t optimized for viewing on the majority of mobile devices, almost 75% of residents in North America perform research and make decisions daily by viewing a website on their mobile device! That’s over 260 million individuals in North America making decisions each and every day! What’s that? Inflated numbers you say? Before you use the “ignore the truth so that I can procrastinate longer” card, just stop and think about it for a minute. How many family members, friends and colleagues do you see each and every day? Now, ask yourself this one very important and revealing question – where does their hand end and their phone begin? You can’t remember… can you? They’ve been holding their phone so long that there’s no longer a visual disparity between their phone and their hand anymore is there? In fact if they put their phone down for a few minutes, you’d likely feel awkward, almost as if they were walking around naked, wouldn’t you? Alternately, you can just check out the statistics reported by reputable companies, I’ve cited references below. All jokes aside… it’s about to get worse!
Over 70% of the world’s population now have a mobile phone, that’s over 5 billion mobile subscribers1, and in places like the US, it’s 9 in 10 people. With children now more likely to own a mobile phone than a book, with 85% of kids owning a phone as to 73% having books! Now that’s a pretty crazy statistic!
Smartphone sales in 2010 totaled 1.2 billion worldwide! In 2011 the industry is on target to sell a whopping 1.6 billion2! These statistics only encompass smartphones. Mobile tablets, an industry that’s only a few years old, is already on target to sell 1 billion within the next 5 years3! Morgan Stanley has published a detailed report4 based upon in-depth statistical analysis of the sales trends of mobile devices over the last few years and the truth of the matter is that mobile Internet usage will at least double the size of the desktop Internet usage within the next 3-4 years5!
As you can see, more and more decisions will be made while individuals are on the go, by using the mobile devices and it’s going to reach a point that it’s critical that consumer-facing companies have made the transition.
In order to help you visualize this reality, I’ve asked 100 of my family and friends to identify the reasons for using their mobile devices’ browser on a daily basis, here are some of the most common responses:
- Finding and choosing nearby entertainment (e.g. restaurants, nightclubs, gyms, spas, etc.)
- Researching a specific product they hear about from a friend, radio ad, etc.
- Watching movie trailers and purchasing movie tickets
- Reading current news
- Researching TV shows, etc.
- Watching porn (sorry, this was a common answer so to be fair I won’t remove it from this article, if it offends you, close your eyes)
As you can see, mobile devices have given individuals answers at their fingertips. People are more informed by the readily available information on their mobile devices and easier influenced by collective decision-making influence of their cliques. If your company sells a quality product or service and you’ve adapted to ensure that your information is both readily available and efficiently delivered to your target customers, you will reap the rewards of being a company that is as connected as the consumers that you serve.
It has also given companies the ability to deliver (or push) information to their customers with the click of a button! If your company hasn’t started to leverage these methods, stop what you’re doing and take a look at your competitors, they’ve probably started to do some of these already:
- When individuals are within the neighborhood, they get notifications from businesses about sales
- Advertisements in magazines and on radios cite websites, include QR codes and emphasize social media presences
- Relevant local news stories pop up several times daily on devices everywhere
- …and there’s more!
The possibilities are limitless, and the more connected our society becomes, the more expectations people have that companies will simply adapt and deliver information in a manner that consumers demand. Those companies that don’t will feel the squeeze, experience a loss of loyalty, a disconnect from their customers and an inability to ward off their competitors. Ultimately, companies will adapt or will suffer similar consequences that the music sales and video rental industries have already witnessed.
It always surprises me how slowly companies adapt and when they finally pull the trigger it’s too late! Now it’s time for you to sit down, assess your business and ensure that you have a clear understanding of where it’s headed in the next several years to come. Take a look at the big picture. How do you sell your products and services today? How is that likely to change? Where do you need to adapt? Now start… be on the leading edge. Don’t let your competitors lead the way or they’ll be the ones who reap all of the rewards. The world is changing, is your business adapting? You have a family to protect, not just the one that’s within your home, but an extended family that’s under the roof that houses your business. Where do you want to be in 5 years from now? It’s up to you…
I hope this helps open up the eyes of business owners. As people age, we tend to become complacent, it’s not our fault, we’re psychologically wired to do so. It’s the very reason that leading edge technology companies are replacing executives everywhere faster than ever before. It’s not done because an executive is not qualified, it’s done because it’s become essential that companies remain agile and competitive within their industries and in order to do so, adaptation of change is essential. So do yourself a favour and start today. Every day that passes is yet another day of procrastination under your belt, and you’ve got enough experience in that, haven’t you?
CEO, N-VisionIT Interactive