Does your business need a mobile site

First impressions are important

Your customers and prospects are on the move and often in a hurry. And it’s likely they’re on a mobile device while looking for products or services online. This means it’s vital you have a well-designed and well-written mobile site to make a great first impression. Without one, you could be losing valuable sales. It’s estimated that 57% of mobile users will leave your website if doesn’t load after three seconds. And 30% of users will abandon a purchase if the shopping cart isn’t designed for a mobile device.

A mobile site is a great way to quickly introduce your brand and offering to people. If you then decide your customers could benefit from a mobile app, you can look at going down that path too.


Think about what your customers need

Rather than think about mobile sites or apps as tools to choose between, consider the needs of your customers first. What will be most beneficial to them? Consider where, when, how and why they want to interact with your business. This will help you decide whether you need a mobile site as well as a mobile app.


How are mobile sites and apps different?

An app is a piece of software created for a specific purpose. It’s built for a certain type of device or mobile platform.

Apps are usually downloaded by customers once they have an idea about your product or service. If an app has useful content, is easy to use and provides clear benefits, it will give your customers a reason to keep using it. You can form a valuable relationship.

A mobile website is just a version of your website viewed on a mobile device. In the early days of mobile technology, most businesses had two versions of their site: the desktop version and the mobile version. This was popular for awhile but it started to cause problems and was costly to manage.

Today, well-designed websites are built to be mobile-friendly or ‘responsive’. A responsive site adjusts seamlessly to work on mobile devices, tablets and desktops. For example, large images that are unnecessary on a smaller device may be hidden. Menus only display when a menu button is selected. Other on-screen elements may be neatly stacked on top of one another when viewed on smaller screens.

Mobile sites and mobile apps have different purposes. You need to understand these before deciding where to invest your time, energy and money.


The advantages of a mobile site

Mobile websites are used more by customers and prospects who are engaging with you for the first time. Or they may be early on in the buying cycle at the ‘just looking’ stage. Here are some advantages:

  1. You can reach a broader audience
    Every mobile user has access to a mobile browser. So any new customer or prospect using a search engine will be able to find your business.

  2. It’s easy to publish and update content
    With a mobile website, it’s easy for you to make updates and changes to your content. This can be done using your website’s content management or publishing system. Changes and updates can be instant. Apps often take longer to update.

  3. Mobile sites are available across multiple devices
    A mobile website works on any device. You don’t need to create and maintain a different website for different browsers or platforms.

  4. You have flexible design options
    You don’t need to comply with the standards, guidelines and requirements of an app store or marketplace. You just need your website, a domain name (URL) and web hosting.

The advantages of a mobile app

Remember that mobile apps are more likely to be for people who already know something about your business. They usually have a good idea who you are and what you offer. You’ve given them a good reason to download your app. Here are some advantages of apps:

  1. Your customers can focus on a specific task or purpose
    Think about the common tasks your customers perform, for example, buying food, checking their account or browsing products. An app can provide a clean and simple interface that lets your customers do this quickly and easily. Plus, it provides you with a direct and uninterrupted marketing channel.

  2. You can provide a customised or personalised experience
    An app collects lots of information about your customers. This makes it easier to offer them personalised communication based on their interests, location, usage, contacts and more.

  3. Apps handle complexity well
    Apps are perfect for calculations, charts or reports for your customers. For example, an app can quickly provide financial history, fitness reports or listening recommendations.

  4. Your customers can use an app offline
    Apps provide your customers with access to your content or functions without an internet connection. So for instance, your customers can still read articles, listen to podcasts or browse product catalogues while offline. As soon as they’re back online, the app can then pass the stored information to your server or database.

  5. Quick to serve up content
    A well-designed mobile app performs actions much faster than a mobile website does. Apps usually store data on the the mobile device, in contrast to websites that generally use web servers. This means that mobile apps send and receive customer data swiftly.

  6. Extra functions are available
    A mobile app can be designed with a lot of elaborate functions. These are based on the gestures people use on a mobile device. Examples are ‘tap,’ ‘swipe,’ ‘drag,’ ‘pinch,’ ‘hold,’ and more.

Mobile sites and apps have some shared advantages

Whether you focus your attention on a mobile site or a mobile app, both offer some great functions. Whatever you do, make sure customers can easily:

  • Buy from you
    If you have an online store, your mobile site or app should provide an easy purchasing process.

  • Find their way around
    Always make sure your customers can achieve key tasks quickly and easily without frustration.

  • Call you
    Let customers call your business with one click or tap.

  • Find you on a map
    Make it easy for customers to get directions to your business without searching or typing your address.

  • Check your opening hours
    Business hours can be a selling point so display them prominently. If you’re an early-morning coffee shop, for example, you want parents to know you’re serving, when their kids get them up.

  • Sign up for alerts and emails
    Provide a quick and easy way for people to sign up for marketing lists and loyalty programs.

  • Share your content
    Make sure your social sharing buttons are prominent so that users can easily share your content.

Think about your business goals to get the most out of mobile

Your business may already have a mobile site and possibly an app as well. If you haven’t created a mobile site or an app, now’s the time to start. Like any business investment, some fundamental questions still apply:

  • What are your business objectives?

  • What do you want people to do when they find your business on a mobile device?

  • What do you need to provide to get new customers or prospects to take that action?

  • What are the pros and cons of a mobile app and mobile website for your business? Make two lists.

  • What are the costs and benefits for your business of each?

Mobile usage surpassed desktop computer use years ago. Now it’s not just about having a mobile plan in place – but about how fast you can implement it. The mobile marketing landscape is complex. But with a solid plan that fits your brand, and by working with the latest technologies, you can gain a competitive advantage.

Security Advice from Xero

If you ever receive an unsolicited email that looks like it’s from a well known company asking you to verify personal details like your login, or to open or download a file, this may be what’s called a phishing scam.

These emails might look like they’re from your bank, a popular online service, or even Xero, but they’re not.

If you receive such an email be assured Xero has not been comprised in any way, and your data is still safe with us.

If you’re ever unsure if an email is from us, don’t click on any links. Just forward it to

Never give away your login or other personal details for any online service you belong to, no matter how legitimate the email looks. And never download a file or click on a link you’re unsure about.

If it smells fishy it probably is. So use common sense and don’t get hooked by a phishing scam.

For more information and useful security tips visit our security page at

Split Screen on your iPad

Save time and do more with Xero on your iPad!

Split-screen multitasking means you can work in Xero and access other apps at the same time.

View an order from a customer that came through as an email side-by-side with the invoice you create in response.

Create an expense claim with the email or PDF open next to the Xero app.

Have open with the details on how to do something in Xero.

Facetime or use online messaging with customers while sorting out their orders or with your advisor to help you on the spot while you’re in the app.

Multitask with Xero on your iPad and get more done, faster..

To learn more visit

marketing planning meeting

Small Business Marketing Pt1

Marketing on a budget

Large businesses often have dedicated marketing departments with big budgets, because it’s not enough just to create a product or service – you also have to tell people about it.

Small businesses are at a disadvantage here, because they don’t have the funds or the staff to run big marketing campaigns. In fact the marketing manager in a small business might also be the PR manager, customer service representative and advertising director!

Constant Contact says small businesses have advantages in other areas. They can move fast, are nimble, and have access to tools that can help them do marketing on a budget. Connected tools are especially handy, using the cloud to quickly and efficiently dig into business data to find useful leads.

You probably already have the information your small business needs to conduct successful marketing for your small business. All you need to do is analyse it properly. Constant Contact has made it easy to stay in touch with your customers and persuade them to become loyal customers.


Five ways customer data contains hidden gold

Everyday business operations generate a lot of data. Emails to and from customers, POS (point of sale) records and social media interactions are full of valuable information. Analysts call some of this unstructured data, because it isn’t processed or ‘mined’ for business use.

That’s a shame – and potentially a financial loss – because this information can give businesses a boost. For example:

  1. Seasonal trends
    We all know that t-shirts sell better in summer months and woolly hats sell better in winter. But what about more subtle seasonal variations? What’s the best stock to carry halfway through spring, or at the end of autumn? Do trends follow the months of the year precisely? How much variation is due to the weather? POS data will help you out here, but only if you analyse it properly.

  2. Who’s buying what?
    These days it’s not enough to know that your customers are buying your products. You need to know which customers are buying which products. Age, gender, socio-economic demographics, all of this is vital marketing information. Loyalty schemes can help here, which is why so many businesses use them. But digging into your data will also tell you a lot about customers’ purchasing patterns.

  3. Multiple purchases – how are they linked?
    Your POS system will record every sales transaction, including details of products that are bought together. This can help you create special linked promotions, but first you have to get that information out of the system and into a readable form.

  4. Marketing new products
    Customers might like your product but want it to do new things, or do existing things differently. Before you start the purchase or design phase for an upgraded model, analyse your customer feedback on social media and email. It will tell you what your customers want, which will save you a lot of time – and help you market the finished product to them.

  5. Complaints patterns
    Are the same complaints cropping up time and time again in emails and on social media? Analysing this data will help you identify problem areas in your business and fix them. Then you can tell your customers about your improved service – which is a form of marketing for your small business.

So looking at business data can uncover valuable insights. It can tell you what types of products your customers prefer, whether they like purchasing in-store or online, what time of year and even what time of day a customer makes the most purchases. It can also tell you why they might return something they bought, and what new stock you should consider buying or creating.

Once you have this knowledge you can set up intelligent marketing campaigns to sell more of your products or services. But first you must extract the information you need.

Bank Rules in Xero

Bank rules in Xero will help you automate reconciling your bank for those regular day to day transactions that you don’t need to enter an invoice or bill for.

How automated payments can improve your competitive advantage

If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you will be well on your way to developing some strategies to improve the way you do business so that you can increase your cash flow and ultimately your profits – great! You already know that automated payments can help you to get paid faster, decrease the cost of doing business and improve your internal business efficiencies. Obviously this is all great news for extracting the maximum value out of your internal business processes and improving your business’ cash flow position, but did you know that automated payments could affect how your business performs alongside external forces as well?

The fact is, implementing the right automated payments solution to reduce administration time and increase your cash flow translates to a massive competitive advantage for your business on a much larger scale – here’s how.


Automated payments are the default option for the bigger players

People are already using direct debit to pay for their gym membership, insurance, phone bill, internet, childcare and more. This means your customers are highly likely to welcome the convenience of paying you by direct debit as well. Shifting your customers onto smaller more manageable payments, paid automatically by direct debit, will be good for your cash flow, could potentially reduce the perceived total cost of your product or service in your customers’ minds and will give you another tool to help you to compete with the bigger players.


Automated payments make it easy for your customers to buy from you

To succeed in today’s highly competitive post-GFC business environment, you need to implement astute business management processes into all areas of your business – particularly those processes that relate to your inbound cash flow. One sure strategy to maintaining your competitive advantage (without resorting to decreasing your prices) is to make it easy for your customers to buy from you.

Mobile technology means your customer could be doing business with you while they’re picking up the kids from school, having lunch or working out at the gym. The customer transaction landscape has changed and you need to change with it. If you can’t offer the convenient payment options that your customers want (such as direct debit or BPAY), it’s you who will ultimately pay the price of lost customers.


Automated payments software yields fast ROI

The time it takes you to find and implement the right automated payments solution for your business will be an astute investment – in fact, many businesses realise their return on investment in the first month after switching to automated payments.

If you’ve ever benchmarked how much time your team members are really putting into manually processing your customers’ payments (for help on how to do this, read this article on how to reduce the price of payments administration in your business) chances are you’ve already uncovered the real hidden cost of manual payments administration for your business AND set yourself some measurable goals around reducing this time – great!

Your next step is to find and implement the perfect automated payments solution for your business – an easy-to-implement solution that will enable you to achieve your efficiency goals by automating your most repetitive manual tasks and removing any tasks that are unnecessarily duplicated – so you can start yielding that return on investment sooner.


Big benefits and easy to use

If you were to implement the right automated payments solution into your business today, everybody across your business would start to reap the benefits immediately. Your staff will appreciate their reduced manual administration workload and your customers will welcome the offer of more convenient payment options.

To find out just how easy automated payments software can be to use, call us now to discuss.


Specialising in Xero bookkeeping, Notch Above is a Brisbane bookkeeper and BAS Agent located in Alderley that offers Xero setup, as well as training and ongoing support.  Notch Above can take care of all the bookkeeping tasks you would rather not do, like bank reconciliations, supplier payments, payroll services, debtor control and BAS returns.

Thanks to Ezidebit for providing this article.