You used to call me on my cellphone (in Drake’s melodic voice) … and that was it, but now your smartphone can be used to pay your lawn company, search for “dentist near me” or schedule a hair appointment.

The “Culture of Now” has steadily fueled the mobile-friendly business model, but the pandemic has rapidly changed the way consumers prefer to interact with businesses.

In short, the mobile-friendly movement has taken over and is here to stay. Every step in a small business’s operation can and should be optimized to be mobile-friendly, from marketing and websites to communication and payments.

Is Your Website Mobile-Optimized?

Your website is often the beginning of the customer experience. The first thing you need to ask yourself is, “how fast does my website load?” If it’s not two or three seconds, there’s a good chance that a new lead is already gone.

Website functionality is the next step in the customer journey. Cellphone screens are small, so the size and layout of content need to fit perfectly. Consumers don’t want to be greeted by six paragraphs of text as soon as they open your site, especially on a phone.

Organize information by putting what’s most important at the top of the page. People have short attention spans, and if they can’t find your products and services or how to contact you quickly, you’ll lose them.

It takes only 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion about your website and your business.

Here are some additional tips to ensure your website is optimized for a mobile-friendly experience:

  • Your business name and contact information should be at the top and bottom of every page
  • Your website should automatically format to any size of mobile device by using a responsive design
  • Icons, photos and videos, when used sparingly, are great tools to convey information and spruce up your design

Mobile-Friendly Marketing: Send Messaging Right to Customers

Mobile-friendly marketing starts and ends with social media. With billions of daily active users between Facebook, TikTok and other social media apps, a website is not enough anymore to attract a large audience and grow your business.

You don’t need every social platform, but you do need the ones that are popular and make sense for what you do.

You can demonstrate that your small business is mobile-friendly simply by having a social media presence and routinely posting content. Additionally, you can leverage a social platform’s advertising capabilities to reach beyond your current customers and find new ones.

There is a wide range of options when it comes to advertising on social. For example, you can boost a post with Facebook and choose a specific audience to target or create a slideshow of images on Instagram each with its own hyperlink.

In 2020, mobile advertising spending reached a record 223 billion U.S. dollars worldwide.

If you want to compete in this digital landscape, you need to be a part of the conversation where it’s happening. Hint hint, it’s happening right in the palm of your customer’s hands.

Show Me the Money

When it comes to accepting money, contactless payments and mobile wallets are becoming a favorite of small business owners and consumers. Why? It’s easier. Nearly everyone can whip out a cellphone to pay for HVAC repairs, a new fence, dog grooming or anything in between.

Also, mobile-friendly payment options are not in short supply. Some of the most poplar options include:

  • ThryvPay
  • Apple Pay
  • Zelle
  • Google Pay
  • Cash App
  • Samsung Pay
  • Venmo

In 2021, more than 4 out of 10 U.S. smartphone users had used a contactless payment at least once.

Accepting money is only one side of the coin. If you want to compete, your small business’s entire revenue operation should be mobile-friendly – starting with sending estimates. You can streamline the process by sending an estimate, invoice and payment link via SMS text.

The benefits of moving to a mobile-friendly system will trickle down and simplify other tasks like filing and record-keeping, too. Imagine being able to organize and search all payment data from an electronic device instead of riffling through drawer after drawer in a filing cabinet.

Making the payment process a digital one makes running your business easier.

Talk Mobile-Friendly to Me

If you want to streamline how you communicate with customers, list your cell phone as the primary number of your business. This allows both parties to text, send images and share documents, whereas landlines leave you hamstrung to only phone calls. Alternatively, you can use a platform that allows the customer to text your landline.

In 2020, SMS and texting experienced a 75% increase in popularity among customers compared to 2019, while in-app messaging was used by 36% more of customers in need to contact a business.

If a client finds your small business on their mobile device, they’ll expect to easily contact you and promptly get a response whether they found you on Google or Facebook. Here are some recommendations to ensure mobile-friendly communication based on where customers find your business.

  • Search Engines – Most search engines will have basic business information like a phone number, address and hours of operation. It’s crucial to manage these listings so your basic info is always correct. No one likes to call a number that’s no longer in service.
  • Website – Your phone number should be hyperlinked to a click-to-call function. You can also use contact forms or online chat. Be sure to set up automatic replies for times you’re not available so you’re not ghosting potential customers.
  • Social Media – Just about every social media platform has a messenger, and you better believe consumers use them. Some will even communicate by commenting on posts you’ve made. It’s best to monitor your social channels often for new leads.

Mobile-friendly practices aren’t a new discovery for small business owners. However, the rapid necessity of transforming businesses into a contactless, social-distancing, mobile-first mindset is the new norm.

If customer experience is the vehicle for small business success, then the mobile-friendly business model has both hands on the wheel.