There’s never a better time than now to bring a small business online. Doing so provides numerous benefits, including the ability to have a much bigger reach. Whether a business is already online or they’re looking for ways to take advantage of the benefits provided by the digital world, there are a lot of things that can be done to reach out to more consumers and help keep existing customers.
When it comes to the digital world, it’s crucial to remember that there are many types and sizes of devices used today. Planning an app or website requires enhancements to make the use easier for consumers, whether they’re using a desktop computer with multiple monitors, a tiny smartphone with slow service, or anything in between.
Use the following ideas to consider what might be useful when designing anything for consumers to use to connect with the business online.
1. Make Sure Websites are Mobile-Friendly.
Businesses must make sure websites are mobile-friendly to reach as many consumers as possible. If a potential customer opens a website and it displays the same as it would on a desktop, the type will be too small to read. Zooming in doesn’t help, as it’ll be necessary to move back and forth to read each line. Consumers aren’t going to do this – they’ll just revert back to the search that brought them to the site and try a different one.
Instead, make sure all pages are responsive, so they adjust to the size of the screen for a better fit and to make it easier to read. Better yet, work with iPhone app developers to create a progressive web app (PWA). A progressive web app is like a combination of a website and an app. There’s no need to download an app, so it’ll work on any device, and it’s possible to save the website to the home screen for easy access.
2. Take Advantage of AI Chatbots.
Today, artificial intelligence is growing rapidly, allowing it to be used in a variety of situations. Businesses can take advantage of this by using chatbots powered by AI. As consumers talk to the chatbot, it’s able to learn and cultivate more responses that are helpful. This allows for a more powerful interaction and can provide the assistance needed without the consumer having to talk to a live person. Of course, there should be an option to transfer to a live person as needed, but the chatbot will be able to answer most questions on its own, reducing the need for customer service agents dedicated to the chat.
3. Speed Up Mobile Pages.
Along with making sure websites are able to be viewed on mobile devices, make sure they’re fast. Speed is crucial, as most consumers will not wait long for a website to load. Nearly half of all consumers will wait up to three seconds for a page to load. If it takes longer than that, the consumer will go somewhere else for what they need. Look into different ways to speed up the loading of all pages and test them regularly to make sure they continue to load quickly.
4. Optimize the Voice Search Options.
Over the last few years, consumers have increasingly turned to voice searches for what they need. Instead of being required to type in what they’re searching for, they can speak to a virtual assistant like Alexa or Siri. The way people phrase requests when doing a voice search is more natural compared to the keyword-based phrases used when typing into a search engine, so this should be taken into account when working on optimization.
5. Test Serverless Architecture.
Servers are used to host all of the data needed for an app or website, but there are serverless options available today. Businesses may want to opt for serverless architecture to help prevent the system from being overloaded, help to reduce the potential for data loss and help decrease the cost of development. Serverless technology is based in the cloud, which means it also makes scaling a lot easier when needed. If a website starts to get a lot of attention, the bandwidth can be automatically scaled up to handle it all. When the initial interest slows back down a little bit, the bandwidth can be scaled back down to normal amounts.
6. Add a Dark Mode.
Screens are hard on the eyes, which is why dark mode was created. Dark mode changes the whitespace on a website or app to a dark blue or black, eliminating the blue that can cause eye strain. This is especially important to have when users may be viewing their device at night, as it is easier on the eyes and won’t keep the user up as long. By adding a dark mode to the website or app, consumers can pick whether they’d like light or dark mode based on their own preferences or needs.
7. Boost Native Security.
It’s hard to think about a hacker trying to gain access to the data created by small businesses, but it happens with alarming frequency. Small businesses are often the focus of malware and other viruses because they don’t have as much security and still store private data that can be stolen and used. Boosting native security for the app or website is a way to protect both the business and the consumers, and it’s something that consumers do look for before making any purchase online. Take time to review native security features and improve them as much as possible to create a more secure space for consumers.
With the growth of the internet and the need to shop online brought about by the pandemic, more consumers are looking for what they need online than ever before. Businesses wanting to take advantage of this will want to make sure they’re also keeping up with the latest trends to make connecting with consumers easier and increase their reach. Use the ideas here when creating a web app to help make sure it’s ready for consumers to use and that it’ll have everything they need.