A couple of weeks ago Rebecca and Greg were at a FDANZ conference in Auckland where Greg was delivering a seminar on Death and Dying in an Online World.
There was time for some discussion, and there were some interesting points made by attendees about how many members of the congregation at services bought their mobiles and iPads to take photos and share information at the funeral itself.
The fact is that more people are using mobiles than ever before. In 2011, consumers started spending more time on mobile devices than PCs, and mobile web browsing is soon to follow. It is estimated that by 2014 mobile internet usage will overtake desktop usage. And yet a lot of companies in the funeral industry do not have websites, let alone mobile optimised websites.
Following on from the seminar we have had a lot of interest in the insight we shared, and so will be publishing several Blog entries over the coming months which will provide information and ideas relating to technology.
One of the main reasons why it is important to be aware of these technological changes is that we are currently seeing a complete change in the psychology of consumers. Customers expect immediacy… they expect information to be available on any appropriate device at any time, when they perceive that they need it to be. And there are so many consumers now with smart phones and tablets using only these devices to search for information. And yet 45% of businesses still don’t have a mobile site. This could lead to genuine problems in ensuring that your customers can find you and choose you.
Families would be able to visit existing websites via their browsers on their mobile devices, but most websites are not designed for this, and issues with the size of text, pictures not showing up correctly and links not being easy to find could send customers away from your site at a crucial decision making time, purely out of frustration.
Research undertaken by Google in September 2012 threw up some very interesting statistics that cannot be ignored. “74% of people said that when they visited a mobile-friendly site they’re more likely to return to that site in the future; 67% of mobile users say that when they visit a mobile-friendly site, they’re more likely to buy a site’s product or service; 50% of people said that even if they like a business, they will use them less often if the website isn't mobile-friendly; 52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company; and 48% said that if a site didn’t work well on their smartphones, it made them feel like the company didn’t care about their business.”
The fact is that mobile-friendly sites encourages consumers to want to use your business. It is often going to be the first, and unfortunately could be the only, opportunity to present your company and the image that you want to convey. And that image is going to be judged by the consumer quickly. It is important to make sure that you make it easy for potential client families to find the information they need about your business, and fast.
Remember: Keep it simple and functional. Usability is the key thing, as consumers want to be able to navigate and find information easily and quickly. Try and ensure that there are buttons and links, especially when it comes to contacting your business. ‘Call now’ buttons that enable the mobile device to call you directly are an excellent idea, as this makes it even easier for them to connect with you.
A word of warning though: mobile-friendly sites do not always offer everything that a full website would, so choose what aspects of your main site are important, and emphasise these. Make your mobile site accessible, informative and easy to navigate around, and you could see a huge difference to your business.