According to information compiled by Ofcom, the proportion of people using their mobile phones to access the internet has risen from 57% in 2014 to 66% in 2016. Ofcom's 2015 report on the communications markets highlighted that two-thirds of people now own a smartphone, and use it for almost 2 hours each day to browse the internet, use social media, banking and shop online. In fact:


33% of internet users consider their smartphone to be the most important device for getting online


Ofcom suggests that the huge increase in smartphone ownership is due to increased use of 4G mobile broadband. In 2014 alone, the number of 4G subscriptions soared from 2,700,000 to 23,600,000. This increase in faster online access has improved accessibility with many users preferring the smartphone to access the internet. In fact, we now spend almost twice as long online with our smartphones than on laptops or PCs.


As mobile devices become a constant feature of daily life and a primary method to access online for an increasing number of users, businesses may be missing out on a large percentage of its market by not including mobile marketing as part of their digital activity.


If you're looking to take advantage of mobile technology to maximize your customer and sales opportunities, we have 4 key tips that can help you get started now!


Make your website mobile-friendly


A website that is unwieldy for mobile devices will not only pain potential customers who visit your site, but also negatively impact your ranking on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Following Google's mobile-friendly algorithm update, websites optimized for mobile phones are viewed more favorably than those that aren't. Experience how mobile-friendly your website is here!


Be social with your audience


It's easier than ever to stay in touch with your audience at any time as Media Literacy Tracker highlights the fact that 73% of adults online use social media. Social media platforms are a free (or low-cost) option for businesses that want to engage with their customers in real time. Social media gives you a great opportunity, not only to develop the online business brand, but to start developing long-lasting relationships that could see customers develop into loyal brand ambassadors.


Make it easy to pay on mobile devices


Mobile phones can do myriad things ... including payments! NFC (Near Field Communication) is a form of contactless communication that makes mobile payments possible. According to Berg, global sales of NFC-containing handsets are expected to reach 700 million units worldwide in 2016. Make it easier for customers to pay using mobile payments. For those customers who don't carry cash, or prefer to use their mobile devices to pay, you will improve the sales process and remove any potential barriers to conversion. Extending your payment options will increase the chances of getting consumers to buy!


Quick ways to catch your customers


The black and white square rakes that often appear on magazines, product packaging and other marketing materials are known as Rapid Survey Response (QR) codes. These could be a quick, easy way to direct your customers to your online contact points. Potential customers can scan the codes with a QR scanner on their mobile device and can help you drive customers to a key landing page. The accessible and direct nature of QR codes can be an opportunity to increase digital engagement from potential customers and, ultimately, increase conversions.

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