It used to be a pretty straightforward process for customers to find a self-storage facility.
They’d either pop into the facility that they passed on the way to work every day, or they would crack open the Yellow Pages, call a few places, and book a unit based on a quick price.
Then came the internet. Now customers had the power to do extensive research from the comfort of home. They could look at pictures, read reviews and compare prices. This fundamentally changed the way storage operators approached marketing.
Now a new technological advancement is disrupting the customer acquisition process yet again: the widespread adoption of internet-connected mobile phones.
Chances are you are reading this article on a smartphone, and if not you are probably in the minority. In 2008, the average American adult spent around 20 minutes a day on a mobile device, according to research from venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins. By 2016, the amount of time adults spend on mobile devices is now over three hours a day. That is more than the two hours and 15 minutes Americans currently spend using a desktop or laptop computer.
Here are a few more stats that speak to the rise of mobile:
- 60 percent of online shoppers use their smartphones to find a product first (Neilson)
- 94 percent of people with smartphones search for local information on their phones (Google)
- 88 percent of consumers who search for a local business on a mobile device call or visit within 24 hours (Nectafy)
At SpareFoot we have seen the rise of mobile firsthand. In 2010, just two percent of visitors came to our site using a mobile device. Today, more than 53 percent of visits are coming from mobile devices. The number of visitors reserving a storage unit through SpareFoot from a mobile device has grown at a very similar trajectory.
What does this mean for you?
Your facility homepage might look great on a desktop monitor, but if your site doesn’t load properly on Apple or Android phones, then you are essentially turning half of your online customers away.
Statistics show that 79 percent of online shoppers who are dissatisfied with a site’s performance say they are less likely to be repeat customers, according to Kissmetrics. Forty percent of consumers will leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load, according to Econsultancy.
That means if your webpage is not optimized for mobile, doesn’t load properly or takes too long to load, that potential customer is very likely to move on to one of your competitors. If your site does look great on mobile then you have won half the battle. None of this really matters if visitors to your site cannot do at least one of three things: make a call to the facility, see prices, or reserve a unit online using their device.
A customer should at the very least be able to press a button on your site that will initiate a phone call to your facility. After all, they are holding a phone in their hand. That mobile device can either be your biggest blocker, or your best friend. It is up to you which one it will be.
Interested in hearing more about why mobile matters? Check out Chuck Gordon's education session at 4:45 PM on September 6, 2017 during the SSA Fall Conference in Las Vegas.