Mobile solutions: SMEs think they can do without

Although the UK is quickly becoming a hub for everything mobile, most Briton’s are still not leveraging mobile solutions for business, according to a Constant Contact report. While the majority are using smartphones and tablets, only 20 per cent report using mobile solutions, such as QR codes, mobile-optimised websites, dedicated apps, and text message marketing. In fact, most admit to having no plans to start using mobile solutions in the future. 

These findings echo those of a recent Email Marketing Census from eConsultancy that revealed 39 per cent of businesses have no strategy in place for mobile optimisation.

Most small businesses don’t see the value of mobile for business

Despite the ongoing surge in mobile usage, 59 per cent of respondents not using mobile solutions believe that mobile is not relevant to their industry or business. 

Other popular roadblocks include: 

  • Not having a work or business-related smartphone;
  • A lack of customer demand for mobile payment solutions; and 
  • A lack of customer demand for mobile communications.

When asked which mobile solutions would be considered in the future, the most popular responses were “none of these” at 55 per cent, followed by social media marketing at 18 per cent. 

“There seems to be a big disconnect with small businesses’ perceived value of using mobile for business and the growing consumer usage of smartphones”, said Annette Iafrate, UK managing director at Constant Contact. “Almost 68 per cent of UK smartphone owners check their email in the previous 30 days, and frequently use their phones for text messaging, social networking and perusing the mobile web. There will increasingly be missed opportunities for businesses not taking advantage of this growing trend.”

Some early adopters have embraced mobile as part of their marketing efforts

When businesses who did use mobile solutions were asked about specific ways it is being used, 17 per cent of small businesses report using mobile for social media marketing and 15 per cent for email marketing. Still, most mobile marketing methods are being left untapped. Text message marketing, mobile couponing, mobile-based loyalty programmes and mobile deals all received single digit responses.

“Whilst most small businesses have yet to leverage mobile solutions in their business operations, those that do embrace mobile will have a distinct competitive advantage”, said Iafrate. “Understanding how to market with a mobile mindset will be essential to small business success. The good news is that it does not have to be difficult, and there are many resources available to small businesses looking to learn more.”

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