Be more mo­bile friendly, firms are urged

Yorkshire Post - Business - - FOCUS ON SMES -

SMALL BUSI­NESSES in York­shire could be fail­ing to cash in on the boom in mo­bile shop­ping by not hav­ing web­sites that au­to­mat­i­cally adapt for the dif­fer­ent screen sizes of smart­phones and tablets, ac­cord­ing to new re­search.

A na­tion­wide sur­vey of more than 2,000 small busi­nesses and 2,000 con­sumers by PayPal found a grow­ing gap be­tween on­line shop­pers’ mo­bile pref­er­ences and what small busi­nesses are of­fer­ing – which could be cost­ing them po­ten­tial sales.

Mo­bile shop­ping growth is out­strip­ping over­all on­line spend­ing by four to one in the UK.

This trend looks set to con­tinue, with 34 per cent of shop­pers in York­shire ex­pect­ing to use their smart­phones to shop more of­ten in the next 12 months, ris­ing to 37 per cent for 16 to 24-yearolds.

Nearly six in ten, 58 per cent, of lo­cal mil­len­ni­als are brows­ing for new pur­chases on their smart­phone ev­ery day.

Over­all con­sumer ap­petite for mo­bile shop­ping is also grow­ing quickly: the es­ti­mated an­nual spend on mo­bile nearly dou­bled from £13.5bn to £27bn from 2016 to 2017 and it is es­ti­mated to hit £43bn by 2020. De­spite this, only 18 per cent of York­shire’s small busi­nesses have a web­site that is friendly for mo­bile de­vices.

Ni­cola Long­field, di­rec­tor of small busi­ness at PayPal UK, said: “With mo­bile web brows­ing over­tak­ing desk­top for the first-time last year, it is more im­por­tant than ever that busi­nesses adapt.

“There are small changes that York­shire’s busi­nesses can make to give them­selves a boost, and the top item should be mak­ing web­sites more mo­bile friendly for smart­phone or tablet. Shop­pers are in­creas­ingly frus­trated by web­sites which re­quire them to pinch the screen to zoom in and scroll end­lessly to find minia­ture check­out but­tons.”

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