By now everyone knows that mobile technology is the way of the future. Social networking, business services and entertainment are increasingly adapting to the new world of mobile access anywhere, anytime.
However it’s also become apparent that many Australian businesses are still in the shade as to how it all works, despite being hungry to get a piece of the mobile commerce pie.
An eBay survey has found that one in six Australian businesses don’t know how to invest in mobile commerce, while 40% of respondents lack the knowledge to make informed mobile investments.
These businesses are in serious danger of missing out on potential sales as Australia and the United Kingdom set the pace as the fastest growing eBay mobile markets. In 2011 eBay transacted $5 billion through mobile devices globally, expected to grow to $8 billion this year.
That’s one mighty big pie you don’t want to miss out getting a slice of. And that’s just on eBay.
"Innovations in mobile technology, changing consumer behaviour, and the willingness of retailers to incorporate a multi-channel sales strategy are providing significant growth opportunities for the retail sector, and the findings of the 2012 index reflect these shifts," eBay vice-president Deborah Sharkey said. Sixty one percent of those surveyed said they planned to invest in mobile technology for the first time in 2012. In his book Get Your Business Online, online expert Todd Alexander says this is a trend that will only gain momentum.
“Australians are fast adopters of new technologies and in the not-too-distant future, more people will be accessing the internet, and buying online, from their mobile than they will from their desktop or laptop.” Alexander writes.
So how can you latch onto this trend?
“Your business needs to be referenced by mobile applications in order to attract buyer in your local area.” Alexander points out. This doesn’t mean you need to develop a specific app for your business, just ensure your business is listed and advertised on the websites that other apps, like eBay, are driven from.
“Refer to app stores regularly to see which apps are the most popular downloads in the Australian marketplace.” Alexander advises, “If your business is not being referenced by the most popular apps, find their creators and follow guidelines for adding your business to their index.”
And what about creating an app specific to your business? Luckily for your bank account, this isn’t always the best course of action.
According to Alexander, “Only larger Australian companies such as Woolworths or Coles are currently releasing apps for their businesses as consumers tend to favour apps that are broader than one business.”
So if you’re part of the 61% of Australian businesses looking to make their first investment in mobile this year, take the time to read up on the area and make an educated investment. It will probably mean a smaller outlay than you think for a greater impact than you can imagine.
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