May 17, 2020

Top 5 tips for businesses going mobile

Tom Wadlow
3 min
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 whic...

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.

The reality

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 identified by business directory service Yell need to be taken now to go mobile with success. 

The advice

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!

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Jun 18, 2021

Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR

Microsoft
NASCAR
3 min
Racing fans can expect the ultimate virtual experience as a result of the partnership with Microsoft and NASCAR

Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).

These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack. 

“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”

“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”

“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR

  • Empower employees productivity and collaboration
  • Improve fan engagement and experience
  • Improve environment security and IT productivity
  • Improve racing operations

 

Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.

“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”

“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives. 

“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.

Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”

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