You’ve probably asked yourself about a mobile website for your small business. While mobile surfing isn’t as ubiquitous as the regular web, it’s rapidly getting there. iPhone and Android phones represent three out of every four new phones released, so you’re probably wondering if it’s worth your time–and your money–to get in on the trend as a way to market your business. The answer is nowhere near so simple.
The key factor here is that this is not going away any time soon. While networks are putting caps on their wireless data systems, the fact of the matter is that basic websurfing, as opposed to video and music, is generally the lowest-impact use of a data stream you can get. Mobile websurfing is a pastime that most anyone on any network, no matter how egregious the usage cap gets, can engage in. This in turn means you’re looking at a lot more people who can get in on this, and from there, a lot more opportunity for you to market to them.
But as I said, this is not going to be a simple answer. While a web site is a downright necessity, a mobile web site is not yet at that point, due to the nature of the mobile web. But for those of you who deal with people with mobile devices on a regular basis, you’ll likely find a lot of advantages in offering up a mobile website. You’ll be able to access your customer base on a platform they widely use and offer up special promotions from there. You’ll be where they are, and you can work to influence their behavior from there.
And if you are inclined to do this, you’ll be happy to know there are several venues for developing a mobile website. Much in the same way a website can be developed professionally, you can subcontract a mobile web site as well, complete with hosting. A simple Google search will show dozens of developers and from there, you can price them out and determine who’s best suited to work with you.
The big question to answer is one of knowing your audience. If your customers are often on mobile devices, then you’ll be likely to do well with a mobile web site. And if not, then you’ll probably rather not waste the money.