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Amy Campbell

Amy Campbell
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acampbell@vpico.com

Smartphones Outsell PCs: What Does it Mean for Your Self-Storage Business?

By Amy Campbell Comments
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A few weeks ago, my touch-screen phone went berserk. It would randomly dial numbers, make little vibrations and, ultimately, stopped working altogether. So I headed to Verizon to uncover my options. I wanted to stick with touch screen, which meant upgrading to a smartphone and a data package. Yes, I know, I’m way behind the rest of the world.

After a quick charge, I set out to uncover what all they hype was about. My first foray into an online Google search on a cell phone was surprising. Just to test the waters, I typed in self-storage to see what would pop up. Several facilities in my area materialized.

Granted many people looking for self-storage—or, really, most products and services—will do the search on their home computers if available, not their phones. But more smartphone users are finding the benefits of quick online access to products and services.

In fact, manufacturers shipped 67.2 million Android smartphones last year, up from 6.8 million in 2009, according to an article on betanews.com. Overall, more than 1.6 billion mobile devices were sold worldwide in 2010. The numbers are expected to increase at a ridiculous rate this year.

Plus, global shipments of smartphones exceeded those for PCs for the first time ever, according to technology researchers Gartner Inc. and International Data Corp. Verizon’s introduction of iPhones—and the pre-order sellout within 17 hours—dominated the news in recent weeks. It seems we just can’t get enough of talking, texting and Web surfing.

What does it all mean for you, the business owner? Much like when the Internet became a hot commodity, you need to embrace this new technology. There are many ways you can get more potential customers to your mobile site including mobile search and mobile display. Here’s a great article from Sue Weinman of Michaels Wilder on how these work.

Capturing Today’s Self-Storage Consumers With Mobile Search

If, like me, you’re not an early adopter, seek other professionals who are already doing it. Find someone who’s not a direct competitor in your market and give him a call. Ask questions, share your concerns. Much like when you first launched your facility's website, you’ll likely need assistance navigating your options.

It’s in every business owner’s best interest to investigate all possible marketing opportunities. As the numbers above show, mobile phones are definitely another avenue you should explore.

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