Consumers today are more informed than ever. In fact, 65% of mobile Internet users rely on their smartphone or tablet to locate businesses in order to make a purchase, and each month over 100 billion global searches are conducted on the Internet. Increasing online activity through mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones present a significant challenge to the traditional brick and mortar stores — after all, why would you pay more for something at a local shop, when you can order it online, get it cheaper, and have it shipped to you in just a few days? It is the unprecedented challenge of online retailers and constantly-connected consumers that is causing the traditional mom and pop businesses to see a decline in overall sales. The best way for these businesses to stay relevant, is to evolve with the ever-changing trends of the consumer.
The Internet, and the way it’s utilized by its users, is an evolving trend, and it’s only going to continue to change. By the end of 2014, mobile Internet usage is expected to overtake desktop computer usage. Consider the recent study by Forrester Research — online sales are expected to grow from 7 percent of overall retail sales, to close almost 10 percent by 2016. It’s trends such as these that force businesses and organizations to hire web developers who specialize in custom web design and online marketing campaigns, in order to keep up with the every-changing trends of the consumer. Because the consumer, and the trends of the Internet are constantly changing, so too are the best website designs and marketing tactics.
Another consumer trend, such as 40% of all of customers coming from online searches, suggest that businesses should keep up with online marketing tactics. Take search engine optimization (SEO) for example: SEO is an online marketing tactic that works to improve the visibility of a website in order to generate qualified website traffic. SEO typically improves a website’s search engine rankings in order to appear on the first search engine results page, receive more web-traffic, and ultimately convert that qualified traffic to sales. Search engine rankings are very important for bringing in potential clients and customers online, and possessing high search engine rankings for relevant keywords to your industry has proven to generate more in-bound leads than any other traditional marketing tactic.
By 2016, it’s estimated that over 50% of the dollars spent in the U.S. retail sector will be influenced by Internet marketing and web presence. It’s understandable when businesses fail to realize the importance of keeping up with online trends; after all, we tend to avoid concepts that we don’t fully understand. Unfortunately, many business owners, especially those that have been around well before the Internet became so powerful, are timid to spend money on web development. This could become a huge mistake — with a successful business, it’s all about adapting to your surroundings, and when your surroundings involve the Internet, you better keep up with it.