Mobile working is an emerging trend that's made possible by evolving mobile technology. Devices such as smartphones and tablets are changing how, when and where business people work, and it's having a dramatic impact on the way businesses search and purchase online.
The web is becoming increasingly accessible by mobile devices. According to a report by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), web access via portable devices is expected to exceed that of desktop computers by 2015. This presents a huge opportunity for business centres, but only if the relevant information can be found through mobile devices.
Designing for devices
Mobile devices can access standard websites, but the problem comes where websites have not been designed for a 3-inch smartphone screen. Browsing can be laborious, as users are required to scroll from left to right, top to bottom, and wait for large images to download. Interacting with a standard website via a mobile device can also be a thankless task, as forms, buttons and dropdown menus are often tricky and time-consuming to deal with. See the 'before and after' image below for an example.
The solution is to develop a mobile website, which usually takes one of two strategies. First, you can simply recreate your existing website and optimise it for mobile browsing. This would usually involve creating a 'lighter' version of your existing website that's designed specifically for mobile devices, with less text, fewer images, and various functions designed for web users on-the-move.
Or, you can take the opportunity to create something completely unique. In this case, mobile websites often come with a new direction or purpose than your existing site - like a smartphone app. For instance you could create a mobile microsite or app dedicated solely to meeting room bookings, which allows clients to book and pay for your meeting rooms online. You could also extend the features and allow clients to book a coworking space or hotdesk for the day too.
500% growth in mobile search
It all comes down to your priorities, requirements and resources. But there are certainly plenty of compelling stats to suggest that mobile websites are worth the effort. According to Simon Morgan, Google’s industry leader for technology and hardware, mobile search has grown by 500% in the past two years. Morgan also cites that 85% of UK mobile users search for local information on their smartphone, and 81% take action using local content. And how about this: 28% of smartphone owners check their phone before they even get out of bed.
Mobiles are always on us, and they are always on. They provide instant access to emails, social networks, friends, clients, businesses, workspace... virtually everything. A mobile website could help more clients and mobile workers find your business centre, and with mobile search growth expected to continue - and soon to exceed desktop searches - it could put you well ahead of the competition too.