The future for the majority of our electronic communication and transactions is increasingly mobile. Phone and tablet sales have been eclipsing desktop and even notebook computer sales for several years. And that trend is even stronger outside the US. In some of the world’s most emerging markets in Africa and Asia, the average consumer and small business person never had a computer with wired access to the internet. They went straight to wireless access via a smartphone.
In a world where we are ever more connected, ever more accessible, the same is true of the small business owner, not just the customer. Yahoo Small Business has launched a mobile app, Yahoo Live Web Insights, that lets small business owners manage their websites on the go. It works with most e-commerce platforms, not just Yahoo Small Business, so anyone can use the app to get connected to their online business.
What does the app do? Users can view customers on their website, the pages they’re browsing, and products they’re looking at and what they are putting in their shopping cart. Store owners can even chat with customers through the app to answer questions and provide recommendations. By viewing how customers interact with the website and products, store owners get insight into how their online store is working.
So why should a small business owner or prospective entrepreneur care? The fastest growing segment of e-commerce is mobile e-commerce. This article from Internet Retailer suggests that mobile commerce is up 101% in Q1 of 2014. A study from UK-based payment service provider WorldPay suggests that by 2017 mobile e-commerce payments will be 6 times higher than in 2012. And Business Insider suggests that mobile commerce is growing twice as fast as e-commerce (which is itself growing faster than other retail sectors). Not convinced? This Forbes article has more studies showing exactly the same thing.
Here’s a video showing the app in action.
There is already a movement to help small business owners run their business from a smartphone. Here is a list of apps that can help you run a business from a smartphone. Maybe it's time to add Yahoo Live Web Insights to that list.