Web.com Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: WWWW), recently announced the results of its Small Business Mobile Survey, which indicates that while 69% of small businesses consider mobile marketing crucial to their growth in the next five years, a majority of them are yet to fully leverage mobile marketing. Last year comScore reported that out of 234 million U.S. mobile consumers, 82.2 million use a smartphone. Today’s mobile consumers are seamlessly searching, processing and making a purchase decision via smartphone devices. But are U.S. small businesses ready to attract the mobile consumer or are they missing out on a golden opportunity?
“With more and more consumers specifically searching for local businesses on their mobile devices, it is imperative that small businesses invest in a mobile presence,” said David Brown, chairman and chief executive officer of Web.com. “Having a mobile presence can be a huge competitive advantage for small businesses trying to attract local customers by instantly introducing a potential customer to their business’ products and services in a mobile-enhanced way.”
The Web.com survey reveals the current state of U.S. small businesses using mobile technology, including key motivations and challenges in integrating mobile into their marketing mix and their plans for future investment in mobile marketing.
Seven Key Findings from the Web.com Small Business Mobile Survey Include:
1. 69% of U.S. Small Businesses Consider Mobile Marketing Key to Growth in Next Five Years: There has been a significant increase over the past year in overall awareness and acceptance that having a mobile presence is critical to small business growth. About 69% of the small businesses surveyed agreed that mobile marketing is key to their growth in the next five years and will consider increasing their mobile spend this year.
2. U.S. Small Businesses Maintain Good Web-Presence But Still Lack Mobile Presence: While 60% of small businesses surveyed have a website, only 26% have a mobile-friendly website (same layout/content as standard site adjusted to suit your smartphone screen) while an even smaller percentage (14% of small business owners have a stand-alone mobile website (content/layout designed specifically for mobile purposes).
3. 84% of Small Businesses Currently with Mobile Presence See Increase in New Business Activity: Out of the 500 small business owners surveyed, 14% have a stand-alone mobile website, of which 84% indicated that they have seen an increase in new business activity due to their mobile marketing efforts. This alone serves as validation to make the move into mobile for the majority of small businesses that are skeptical to invest in mobile efforts.
4. While Mobile Search Becomes Mainstream, Small Businesses Still Not Ready to be Found Via Smartphones: There is a large gap between the rapidly increasing mobile search volumes and the majority of small businesses lagging behind in mobile search strategy. Over 61% of small businesses currently do not have a mobile search strategy and are missing out on consumers trying to find them via a smartphone device.
5. Biggest Motivation to Embrace Mobile is to Provide Better Service to Existing Customers: When asked to rank their top motivations to invest in mobile marketing, small business owners indicated the following as their top three motivations:
i) Provide better service to existing customers (38%)
ii) Attract more local customers (36%)
iii) Gain competitive advantage (34%)
6. Biggest Hurdle to Embrace Mobile is Limited Time and Resources: It’s not surprising that time and resource limitations prevent small businesses from entertaining new solutions to market themselves. The survey revealed that 64% of small business owners are also acting as their one-person marketing team. This puts pressure on the small business owner to wear multiple hats and find the time to build a mobile presence besides running other aspects of their business.
7. 64% of Small Businesses Will Spend More on Mobile Marketing This Year – 2012 might be the year when mobile-savvy small businesses increase their spend on mobile marketing initiatives. 64% of small business owners surveyed expressed an intention to increase their mobile investments this year, with only 33% indicating that their mobile spend this year will remain the same as last year.
This survey was conducted online via social networks from April 5 – April 12, 2012 among 500 small business owners (defined as <100 employees).