Globally more mobiles than toothbrushes

TAMLYN STEWART
Last updated 08:29 19/06/2013
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Globally, 5 billion people have access to a mobile phone, more than the number of people who have access to a toothbrush (4 billion), small-business owners in Christchurch heard yesterday.

Google account manager channel sales Tina Jedrzejczyk told owners of small and medium-sized businesses at The Biz, an event for business owners hosted by Yellow that they needed to not only get their businesses online, but adapt their websites for mobile technology too, because "smartphones are very important to Kiwis".

Business owners therefore needed to get mobile-savvy or risk missing out on sales.

Seventy-three per cent of Kiwis don't leave home without their smartphones, and 24 per cent would rather give up television than give up their smartphone.

Forty per cent use their phones to go online more than three times a day.

To attract and retain customers, business owners needed to ensure their websites looked good via mobile technology, as well as via a PC, Jedrzejczyk said.

Most users expected websites to be as easy to use on their mobile device as on a computer. In the 27 per cent of the cases in which a purchase was not made, it was because of a poor checkout process via mobile device.

"Kiwis are searching for you on their smartphones."

She asked the room full of business owners who had used their mobile phone to search for information that morning. Nearly every person raised a hand.

Jedrzejczyk said 41 per cent of mobile users visited a search engine every day, 42 per cent looked for local information on their smartphone at least weekly and 30 per cent had made a purchase after seeing an advertisement on their smartphone.

The Biz national roadshow was launched after the Yellow SME Digital Readiness Survey.

The survey revealed that in Christchurch, 41 per cent of small to medium-sized businesses did not have a website and only 7 per cent who had a website did any mobile marketing.

The message from yesterday's seminar, which included speakers from Yellow, Google, BNZ and several small-business owners, was that New Zealanders' personal mobile internet use had doubled in the past three years, showing that while a website was vital for marketing, it was only the first step.

The digital environment in which small and medium-sized enterprises now operate has changed the way consumers interact with companies and purchase products.

The survey showed that only 30 per cent of Christchurch small and medium-sized enterprises used social media, whereas the national average was 40 per cent.

SMARTPHONE PENETRATION IN 2012

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44% United States

44% New Zealand

43% Switzerland

43% Ireland

38% France

- The Press

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