Top 5 tips for businesses going mobile
Mobile-first is no longer the future, it’s the reality. The UK boasts one of the highest smartphone user penetration rates in the world, a figure which is expected to exceed 80 percent this year. Smartphones are completely integrated into everyday life, whether it is for online shopping, Internet banking or keeping in contact via social media, the ‘always-on’ generation demands immediacy and speed of service. This is especially the case when it comes to engaging with a brand, where 82 percent of smartphone users are turning to a search engine when looking for a local business. In such a mobile-focused generation, it is crucial to ensure your business is mobile-ready so you do not lose out to competition.
Mobile usage has, for the first time, surpassed desktop usage, reaching 51 percent across the globe. It comes as no shock then that smartphones now account for almost half of web traffic (46.5 percent), against five percent for tablets. With 40 percent of online purchases expected to be made by a mobile device by 2019, those who have not already optimised their website for mobile, are missing out on a huge business opportunity. If a small business isn’t embracing its presence on mobile, it will not only be losing out to competition, locally and across the country, but will no doubt be missing out on retaining customers and acquiring new ones.
It’s not just a case of embracing mobile but making it successful too. Details are key. For example, one in three of those searching on a mobile will jump to another business’s website if they are not presented with a click-to-call option on the website. The understanding of consumer behaviour and brand interaction goes hand in hand with the digital technology itself. To stand out and compete in an increasingly fluid and progressive landscape, five key steps need to be taken now to go mobile with success.
1. Be online – If your product or service suits it, make sure people can buy it or book it online. You may think that people will come to your shop if you’re friendly and local but chances are, they won’t. They’ll buy online if they can.
2. Be mobile – Don’t just think mobile, think tablet too. Responsive design is key – some of the best, big brand sites struggle to make their site look good for tablet devices and it can cause people to buy elsewhere.
3. Be informative – People are comparing their choices online so tell them what they need to know by writing an effective product description. Why is this product better than others on the market? Why should they buy from you and not someone else?
4. Be an expert – People are seeking advice and you need to ensure that you can tell them everything they need to know. This is a tricky subject for a lot of people and there are hundreds of articles about the best way to do more content marketing effectively – do it right and you’ll kill two birds with one stone, because you will likely end up ranking higher on Google. Use videos on your website as well as an advice centre or blog spot. Be open, honest and transparent as much as you possibly can.
5. Be there to inspire – Be there in the awareness and pre-awareness stage of the buying cycle by using banner advertising, in-app advertising and social.
The important takeaway from this is “get mobile-ready” and make sure you’re not losing out!
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”