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The recent court battles between Apple and Samsung have highlighted one thing: mobile telephony is big business. But this is obvious. There are myriads of articles and studies highlighting just how dependent consumers are on their mobile phones. Most of those reading this piece can attest to this fact having already flipped through their mobile once or twice today. However, it seems that the SME community has failed to latch onto this as a business opportunity. A recent survey by T Mobile revealed that only 10% of business owners have taken steps to make their businesses more visible to consumers via mobile search. This despite the availability of platforms such as Google Places, Yahoo Local and Bing Business Portal. As a result, 46% of local businesses are not visible to mobile search users. This is important if you consider that more people search for business services online than in the yellow pages. It is certainly relevant for a business hoping to attract tourists during the Paralympic games. But taking it a step further, research from MoPowered indicates that 76% of SMEs do not have an mCommerce site even though 89% of business owners who were asked about it thought that such a site would be vital for growth. 27% of consumers polled admitted to abandoning transactions on their mobile due to a site which wasn't optimised for mCommerce. With Vodafone estimating mobile connections as accounting for 16% of the UK Internet eco-system, the removal of the mobile component could be likened to shutting down online business for one day every week. Something to think about the next time you pick up your mobile phone.
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