Are Small Businesses Evolving Fast Enough for Customers’’ Mobile Needs?

In the same week where the smallness and flexibility of small businesses is being touted in an article explaining how small specialized bookstores may outlast the giant Barnes & Noble chain, comes a report from payments firm ControlScan and TransFirst, suggesting  that small businesses (those processing fewer than 20,000 e-commerce or 1 million physical card transactions annually), may be missing the boat in responding to one growing critical need: the ability to respond to a customer base increasingly seeking both information, and payment options, on mobile platforms.

The report noted that “49% of eCommerce merchants know their websites are not currently optimized for mobile devices and an additional 17% say they don’t know or are unsure about their site’s current status.”

In fact, according to a summation of the study at the BizReport website,  “despite significant mobile adoption among consumers, just 31% of multi-channel businesses have a mobile optimized website.”

And by “mutli-channel,” they mean, simply, “offline and online,” like nearly any physical store or business with a website. According to industry newsletter The Greensheet, “as mobile technology becomes more prevalent and accepted by consumers, many large retailers are ramping up their mobile presence. If smaller merchants do not do the same, they are putting up unnecessary roadblocks to mobile consumers.”

More significantly, according to a commentary on the widely-spread study at the Marketing Pilgrim website, only 18% of eCommerce owners knew how many customers accessed their websites through mobile devices to begin with, and  “more than half of those who do track, can’t say if their shopping cart abandonment rate is higher on mobile than on the PC.

“Statistics say that ‘challenges during the payment process caused two-thirds of prospective mobile purchasers to abandon their online purchase.’ So yes, your mobile abandonment rate is probably higher. The sad thing is there’s something you can do about it.”

One thing you can do is get in touch with your AVPS rep right way, to make sure you’’re up-to-date with on-the-spot processing and other options.  Remember, “mobile” in this instance means handheld devices — phones and tablets — so even if you think your website works with a desktop PC, your customers won’’t be spending as much time buying and browsing on those types of screens.

Which means that when opportunities arise in an increasingly “mobile” environment — say you’re a small bookseller looking to pick up customers when your local Barnes & Noble closes, for example — customers unable to access your website or purchase from you easily could pass  you right by.

That’s the kind of “mobility” you don’t want! Be sure to check in with AVPS today!

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