The Future of the Web and Small Business
“The smartphone revolution is under-hyped; more people have access to phones than access to running water. We've never had anything like this before since the beginning of the planet.” (Marc Andreessen) The future for small businesses and the web is user friendly mobile websites. Today our world is built around accessibility with most of the population are carrying iPhones, iPads, or Smartphones for quick and easy navigation. Small businesses need to utilize the most current web-based marketing tools to drive new and returning customers online or to the mobile website, and if your business is not it may be detrimental to future of the business. Small businesses need to embrace and stay ahead of the technology trends to ensure every person with a mobile device can easily find and navigate through their online business. Bellevue Beauty Walk, www.bellevuebeautywalk.com, is a small business is Newport, Rhode Island that sells gift items, jewelry, accessories, and beauty products. The owner started her business in 2004 and has been slowly growing ever since. She launched the business’s website in 2006, the year after the first Cyber Monday, around the beginning of the online shopping craze. Her website started just as an informational site with directions and how to contact the store. Today the site tells visitors about her store, new arrivals, events, and a small selection of popular items for online purchase. The owner has a web designer to help her keep the website fresh and updated, but the rapid growth of technology constantly challenges her to stay ahead or fall by the way side of the overabundance of evolving online businesses. Strength of Mobile Internet
People all over the world now have smartphones as a necessity. According to Birkner (2012) “By the end of 2012, there will be 137 million smartphone users and 132 million users accessing the mobile Web, according to Cambridge, MA based Forrester Research Inc.” People are always on the go and with the ease of technology at our fingertips businesses are moving towards mobile friendly websites. When people search for Bellevue Beauty Walk on their phone they should automatically be connected to a mobile friendly website. Birkner (2012) explains, “A basic mobile website should include your phone number, address, simple product descriptions and coupons.” This simplicity keeps the customer happy and engaged with the mobile site, making it easier to navigate and quick to shop for popular items. Sanusi (2012) states, “Web visitors are primarily hunters. They hunt for information, and if you don’t give them what they need, they’ll go elsewhere.” With close to a million and a half mobile customers a mobile friendly websites are imperative for a successful future for all businesses. QR (Quick Response) codes are present in magazines, TV, billboards, and posters to name just a few. Scan these codes and, “you can link to digital content on the web; activate a number of phone functions including emails, IM and SMS; and connect the mobile device to a web browser.” (Korhan, 2011) These scans automatically drive camera-enabled devices to a mobile site for more information, making navigating as easy as the push of a button. Bellevue Beauty Walk needs to know their customer and how they want to interact with them in order to have the most effective QRC campaign. There are Beauty Walk business cards and brochures throughout the city of Newport to recruit the influx of tourists in the warmer months. Both the brochure and business cards can be printed with the business’s unique QRC to enable mobile devices to save the store’s contact information, show current promotions, or drive the reader to the mobile friendly website. The future use of QR codes is limitless and brings marketing your small business and gaining new customers to the next level, this is imperative to the future of Bellevue Beauty Walk’s website. Opportunities in Mobile Marketing...
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