How to adapt your small business for mobile-first customers

It’s no longer enough to have a website to reach online shoppers; nowadays small businesses need to be thinking mobile first. Here are three key tips.

Whether to work, learn, shop or entertain themselves, going online is a part of daily life for most people in Australia and New Zealand.

Australians on average spend 2 hours and 36 minutes a day accessing the internet on a mobile device, and Kiwis on average spend 2 hours and 45 minutes a day doing the same. Almost half of all web traffic comes from a mobile device. If you’re a small business, it’s crucial to think about how you can adapt your offering for a mobile-first world.

This might be easier and more affordable than you think, especially if you use a buy now, pay later solution like hummpro to pay for some of the costs. Here are three key tips to get started.

1. Choose a responsive website design

Is there anything more annoying than visiting a website on your smartphone and only seeing half the page, or not being able to read the text without pinching and zooming because it hasn’t been optimised for mobile? It could mean the difference between making a purchase from that business and choosing their competitor.

Ensuring your website can scale up and down to fit any size screen — what is known as responsive design — is the key to providing a good customer experience on mobile. Luckily, many major website platforms are mobile-friendly, so you don’t need to have any technical expertise to do this. And because hummpro can be used anywhere that accepts Mastercard, you can use it to pay your monthly subscription fee for platforms like Shopify, Squarespace and GoDaddy.

2. Streamline content for mobile

It’s a good idea to think about how your customers will use your site on mobile, since this could impact your navigation menu, where you place important buttons and any forms they may need to fill out. For instance, if you plan to offer a ‘back’ button, make sure you place it somewhere customers can easily reach while holding their device, such as the bottom left corner of the screen. When it comes to content, shorter is better on mobile, so you should try to streamline it where possible.

If you’re considering a full site redesign, you may want to build a mockup — or wireframe — to ensure the navigation is clear and simple and identify any potential gaps or issues before you move forward. There are a few online platforms that aim to make it easy for almost anyone to build a wireframe, such as Hotgloo, Moqups, and Balsamiq. They generally charge a monthly subscription fee based on the number of users and projects you have.

3. Ensure your site loads quickly

Site speed is critical on mobile devices. If your website is slow to load, customers will click away. You can test your website’s speed on mobile using this tool from Google.

There are a few basic things you can do to reduce loading time, such as compressing images, implementing caching and using the most up-to-date version of any plug-ins. Choosing a reliable web host and the right plan to handle your traffic is also important.

But if you really want to benefit from faster loading, you’ll need to use Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Depending on the website platform you use, it may be fairly easy to enable AMP. If not, this could be the right time to hire a professional to help you get your code up to scratch. By using hummpro to pay for the everyday costs of running your business, you can create room in your cashflow for additional payroll expenses.

Adapting your small business to be mobile first is crucial and costs less than you might think, especially with hummpro.