Who needs a mobile website?

I’ve refrained from joining the plethora of mobile web users so far due to the fact that I’ve never wanted to surf the web on a squished cell phone screen at near dial-up speeds, but online hand held devices are becoming larger and more user friendly all the time with bigger displays, better software, and increased network speeds. Meaning that the time is “now” to catch the wave (and the gravy train) of the mobile web boom.

We’re already seeing incredible growth in the number of people using mobile devices to surf the web all around us. I think this is just the foundation for the exponential growth that is going to take place over the next few years and it will be one of the next great booms and revolutions of the internet. Entrepreneurs will find new services for mobile web surfers that we didn’t know we needed.

Up until last week I would’ve probably asked the same question many of you will ask. “Who needs a mobile website?” Who would surf the web on that tiny screen with that clunky interface at those terrible speeds?

That is until I heard that Panago (a pizza shop here in Victoria BC) has their menu on a cell phone friendly webpage and that if I were driving through an unfamiliar town I could find some good grub without even pulling over to find a phonebook. Even better, wouldn’t have to go to the restaurant or find a wireless access point for my laptop to even look at a menu? Alright, you’ve sold me. Now the question is, “Who doesn’t need a mobile website?”

Imagine you go into Walmart and have a look around but wonder if Target has the item for cheaper. Well if you’re one of the current mobile web surfer geeks who is ahead of the curve you’re going to be frustrated that the rest of the world hasn’t caught up with the convenience and services that businesses could be offering you online via mobile-friendly websites. But in a short time you’ll be able to walk down the isles of one store and on an impulse, pull out your smart phone and compare prices with other nearby stores.

In the near future providing mobile websites and services for your customers will be a must. There will be new conveniences to offer and new expectations from consumers. Businesses that don’t keep up with the conveniences may find themselves losing customers to more tech-friendly competitors. Businesses that do should see a lot of extra attention considering it doesn’t cost much to build and maintain a mobile website in comparison to daily business operations and advertising expenses.

I imagine this will be the next big .com style boom. The borders of yet another digital land of intrigue and opportunity are in front of us. Welcome, once again, to the Wild West.

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