The Internet has all but become an essential component of daily life, yet a lot of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Australia have yet to make their online presence felt. According to Jim Minifie, Productivity Growth Program Director at Grattan Institute, focusing on website marketing isn’t enough as SMEs today would do well to tap into cloud technologies, social media, mobile technologies, and data analytics if they wish to remain relevant. After all, customers are already ahead of the game, as discussed in Minifie’s article for The Conversation:

Small Business

“First: mobile. Customers are shopping from the tram. Potential hires are looking for jobs from the train. A small business owner can run their firm from a mobile device. Yet only 18% of Australian SMEs with an internet connection have developed mobile-optimised websites.

Second: social. Customers, suppliers and employees are talking online. They expect companies to be part of the conversation: many already are. Yet only a quarter of Australian SMEs with an internet connection say they use social networking for marketing purposes.”

Unfortunately, adopting online technologies is easier said than done. To this day, 60 percent of SMEs in the country lack the skills and awareness needed to create better online services. However, SMEs shouldn’t shoulder all the work as they can outsource their internet marketing needs to a reputable firm like Viper Online Marketing. Skilled web designers in Perth at such a company, for example, can build high-impact multiplatform or mobile-friendly websites that are accessible to an increasingly hyper-connected market.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority discovered that the number of mobile internet users in the country has increased by 33 percent since June 2012. This is despite the fact that mobile services in Australia only grew by three percent from 2012 to 2013, which means that more people are using their mobiles to browse the Internet rather than make calls. In addition, a growing number of people (about 52 percent) say that the quality of an SME’s mobile website influences their decision to do business with the company in question.

Consequently, businesses need the services of a web developer from Perth who can build mobile-friendly versions of their websites. Indeed, some internet marketing and web design firms are already experimenting with what is known as ‘responsive web design’ to address this emerging need. Such a technology ensures that a website is automatically optimized on every web browser or device where it is accessed.

(Source: Small business is missing the mobile, social, cloud revolution, The Conversation, June 11, 2014)