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UK SMEs to make mobile breakthrough in 2015

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As many as a quarter of online SMEs are going to go mobile in 2015, reveals eBay , which is good news for consumers and for developers.

A major new study of online business sentiment by eBay reveals that small businesses are finally waking up the importance of a mobile strategy.

Of the 307 eBay and other online business that partners YouGov spoke to, almost 1 in 4 (23%) small businesses are planning on introducing a mobile optimised site or app in the next 12 months alone.

“This is the firing of the starting gun to capture the mobile shopping revolution” argues, Johnny Gabbai, Head of Mobile at eBay. “Small businesses are finally waking up to the power of mobile”.

This means that by the end of this year, over half of all small businesses who currently have an online presence, will have developed a mobile strategy and optimised their mobile presence.

Of those who already had a mobile presence, 45 per cent had seen an increase in sales conversions as a result, with almost 1 in 10 (8%) seeing an increase by over 20%.

Kareen Buttle set up GlitterstoreUK, an online beauty store and eBay Top-Rated Seller in 2009. Kareen prioritised mobile optimisation early on, and GlitterstoreUK currently receives 50% of its sales through mobile. Alongside overseas exports, anticipate that mobile sales will be the biggest driver of commerce in 2015.

Johnny Gabbai, Head of Mobile at eBay says: “This is good news for developers and most importantly for consumers. We know that the everyday activity of shopping has been transformed over the past few years, thanks to the growth of online retail and adoption of smartphones. Shoppers want convenience, speed and choice – they want to shop anytime, anywhere, on any device. But it’s not just about shopping. If you are an accountancy or law firm, it’s important when your clients look up your website on their phone, that they can access the directions easily and navigate the information with ease. Going mobile can make the difference between converting that sale or making that good impression.

“Small businesses are vital to the UK because they can make rapid decisions, price competitively and adapt quickly to meet changing consumer demand. They are the innovators of UK retail. Their rapid adoption of mobile is just another example of this.”

So what do you need to bear in mind when going mobile? eBay’s Johnny Gabbai has this advice for those making the leap into mobile:

Always remember that a mobile visitor is looking for a few key pieces of information: how to get in touch with you, directions to your office, a phone number they can click on, and a simple and easy purchasing system. Forget lengthy biographies, mission statements or downloadable files. My top tips for developing your mobile strategy are:

Keep it simple: Cut down everything you’ve written again and again. Then keep the site layout itself simple. This will also speed up the site, as mobile pages load slower than traditional web pages.

Fight fat finger syndrome: Remember the screen is small and most of us have trouble typing on tiny keyboards at the best of times. Keep data entry to a minimum, and make sure the content is big enough that everyone can see. Remember, white backgrounds can be clean and classy as well. Don’t be afraid of space.

Allow People to Visit the Full Site: There will always be someone who wants to know more. Give them the option of moving to the full site.

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