Opinion: Why local businesses must go mobile | Social Media | Mobile Entertainment

Opinion: Why local businesses must go mobile

Itai Sadan - DudaMobile
Mike Shaw

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Social / September 4th 2012 at 4:24PM

Itai Sadan, co-founder and CEO of DudaMobile, shares why Duda is on a mission to educate small and medium-sized businesses about the need to go mobile.

Back in 2008 when I got my hands on the first version of the iPhone, I quickly realized that surfing the web from this new gadget could be a cumbersome experience. Desktop websites were never intended to be viewed on a tiny, mobile screen, so smartphone users like me were being forced to pinch and zoom their way through these oversized websites.

Big companies like Amazon and eBay soon caught on to these inadequacies and began to create website experiences designed exclusively for the small screen. They saw the smartphone as an entirely new way to market to their on-the-go, iPhone-enthralled customers and wanted to empower mobile users to interact and transact with their business through mobile-optimized websites.

Consumers loved this newfound empowerment – being able to search, shop and interact when and where they wanted. They were fast to adopt the mobile web, but with the massive adoption rates came a growing demand for a better mobile experience.

A study by Compuware shows that nearly two-thirds of mobile web users are unlikely to return to a website where they had trouble, and a whopping 40 per cent said they would visit a competitor’s mobile site instead. For a small business without the resources to invest heavily in the development of a mobile website experience, those can be some threatening numbers.

However, the demands and habits of smartphone users can’t be ignored. Creating a strong mobile presence is critical for companies of all sizes, and local businesses must decide whether they want to step up or fall behind. That’s where DudaMobile enters the picture. We created our do-it-yourself mobile website builder with small and medium-sized businesses in mind, so they too could stay competitive in the mobile world.

DudaMobile allows local businesses to create a mobile presence in an easy and affordable way, using an asset that they already own – their desktop website. We built the DudaMobile platform so that non-technical and time-poor small business owners could go mobile in just a few steps, and it all starts with entering an existing website URL into our auto-convert platform.

Further underscoring the need for small and medium-sized businesses to go mobile, BIA/Kelsey, an analyst firm for local media and advertising, predicts that local mobile searches will explode by nearly 600 per cent in the next five years, while desktop searches will increase less than 50 per cent. It’s safe to say that the disparity will only increase as smartphones continue to penetrate the market and on-the-go consumers become more reliant upon the mobile web to search local businesses.   

With more than one billion smartphone users worldwide, local businesses must look at the mobile web as the second generation dot com era. Just as they were scrambling to build desktop websites in the late 90s, they must hustle to create a mobile web presence now. At this point, the concept of the mobile web is proven. It makes plain, good business sense to create a mobile-optimized website, just as the big companies like Amazon and eBay did years ago. 

Itai Sadan is the co-founder and CEO of DudaMobile, a do-it-yourself mobile website platform that makes it easy and affordable for small businesses, and the agencies who serve them, to go mobile.