As an RV industry professional, you have an appreciation for people on the go. And today’s technology clearly points to mobile phones and tablets that keep consumers connected wherever they are.
From smartphones to iPads, netbooks to Nooks, mobile Internet-connected devices have seen an astounding increase in popularity over the past few years. One study shows smartphones commanded nearly 42 percent (a figure destined to rise) of all mobile subscriptions as of 2011, while eWeek predicts tablet sales to grow 200 percent over the next two years!
Improvements in technology, access to WiFi, flexible contracts and data plans, an ever-growing pool of apps, and affordable devices combine to drive consumers to embrace mobile and tablet trends. The appeal goes beyond email, texting and Facebook, however. Consumers are using their mobile devices to shop and purchase as well.
So even if you have a nice website, get a lot of traffic, and attract attention via meaningful blogs and/or social networking, you can make the visit easier for your customers and prospects by optimizing your online content for mobile and tablet use. For many businesses, that means creating an alternate version of the website just to accommodate these small, nimble devices.
Going mobile: the basics
• Understand how your customers interact with mobile devices. What stage are they at in the sales cycle? What are they typically trying to accomplish while visiting your site on-the-go? How does their use of mobile differ from that of a desktop or laptop computer?
• Team up with a web designer/developer who has experience programming/designing mobile sites. Ask to see examples of their work, try them out on your phone or iPad.
• Work with your designer to determine the critical elements your phone/tablet site needs. With the limitations of a smaller and often vertically oriented screen, you will likely find yourself eliminating images and text from your main website to your mobile one.
• Keep the text short and as large as possible; people don’t want to squint at their smartphones. Avoid animation or other elements that slow download time or may not be compatible with all devices (eg. no Flash).
• Put your “contact us” links where people can see them easily. Use large, bright buttons that make it easy to tap the link on a phone or tablet.
• Provide automatic redirects to your mobile site, for visitors who are loading your URL from their mobile device. Google.com, for instance, automatically determines you are visiting on a mobile, and gives you the mobile version of their homepage . You don’t want visitors squinting to find a small link on your main site in order to load your mobile version, be pro-active in serving your mobile audience.
Planning for growth in mobile and tablet trends can help your RV business keep up with your customers, wherever they are. What are you doing to accomodate your mobile visitors?