Digital

The Mobile Revolution: Why Should You Care?

Some great tips on why mobile websites are important for restaurants and the hospitality industry

Author

Ashlie Webb
Web Developer

It’s official. We are now in the era of the mobile phone. Smartphones, iPhones, Androids, Blackberries and the like. We all treasure our gadgets and love what we can do with them. They are just so handy aren’t they? Information on travel, news, cinemas, weather and anything else you can think of is right at our fingertips. It’s even there for you when all you want to do is relax a game or funny video.

So it makes sense that when your out and about you’d want to know all you can about a restaurant’s menu, bar’s opening hours or a potential party venue. This is where the mobile optimised website steps in, or more specifically a mobile version of your website. It can be a vital tool in the promotion of a business and brand.

We start by cutting everything down. Navigation is limited to three or four pages. Content is reduced to the bare essentials such as contact details, opening times and the day-to-day promotions or events. Processes such as reservations or enquiries are simplified into a step by step procedure. There are some snazzy things that can be added to increase interactivity between you and your customers.

Including a call now button will give potential customers direct access to you, as well as the use of GeoLocation in order to display a map with directions to your venue from their current location. Throw in some social media links, i.e. Twitter and Facebook, as well as email forwarding and let your users share your website information with others. It might be your Lunch Set Menu or Karaoke on Thursdays. They might just tell everyone how great their time was. All these call to actions demand an instant response therefore making this type of site best for when your on-the-go.

You can use this tool by mobiReady to test your current site’s mobile-readiness. Following this (or you skip it if you like) we can look at two methods that will bring your website to the mobile market.

It also might be a good idea to take a look at this article that shows how much of an impact the Smartphone has on everyday lives, in this case on Mum’s out shopping.

The Mobile Website

The first and more targeted approach is a custom design and built site. A marketing strategy and wireframe are produced as the project is designed to be a dedicated mobile website that will incorporate all the of the above mentioned characteristics.

The Website Optimised for Mobile

While implementing a stand alone mobile site can be intense and well worth any ROI there are other methods that are a little less hectic. This differs from the custom built approach in that this is simply transforming a full website in order to allow anyone, regardless of what phone or tablet they are using, to successfully view a website.

Here is a great article full of comparative examples by Zomigi.com.

As a business, having a mobile site is rather essential. Relevant information customers require, for example your location, opening hours, menus, offers or events is the information that could even influence last minute decisions between you and that cool club with a mobile site.

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