June 30th, 2011
Today we are excited to announce the following new features to Food Face Online:
- With our initial launch of Food Face we integrated with Facebook and Twitter. From there we added the ability to integrate with Yelp, Opentable, and Urbanspoon. Today we are excited to announce integration with Foursquare and Gowalla. You will now be able to display your Foursquare and Gowalla profiles right from the home screen of your mobile website.
- Over the past few weeks we’ve begun to acquire more customers outside of the United States. Due to that we fast tracked the ability to change the currency in which the price of menu items are displayed. Our initial launch of this features will include the Pound, Yen, Franc, Lira, and Euro. We will be adding new currencies as the demand comes up.
- Lastly, with the usage of tablets becoming heavier and heavier we realized that some of your customers might not like seeing the mobile site on their tablet or even their phone for that matter. For that reason we added the ability to have a link appear at the bottom of your mobile site that says “Click here for full site.” When the user clicks that link they will be taken to your normal site.
All of these new featured are found inside of your site settings in the Food Face CMS. If you have any issues or would like to see a featured added feel free to contact us.
If you are interested in a mobile website for your restaurant or business feel free to call Food Face Online at (617) 819-4248.
June 29th, 2011
Cisco recently made the prediction that mobile Internet usage is set to increase 26-fold in the next four years, and it appears that mobile service carriers were listening. Verizon has confirmed rumors that it will be doing away with their unlimited data plans starting in July, and will offer tiered plans based on data usage. According to information provided by CNET.com, the plans offered will be 2GB starting at $30, 5GB at $50, and 8GB at $80. Also, this will not affect current customers with unlimited data plans, and will apply to new customers only. While this may seem unnerving for some, the average monthly mobile data usage currently falls below 500MB. Verizon has obviously set itself up for the future increase in mobile data usage, just as AT&T did last year.
Right now, many cell phone providers still offer standard phones that do not requires data plans. Soon, I would imagine that all phones will be smartphones, and will require a data plan with the service. This will help to increase the amount of mobile internet traffic, because when people have it, they will use it. The concern is whether or not people will be hesitant at first to use the data plan for m-commerce? While users are monitoring their usage on a monthly basis (due to overages being ridiculously expensive), it is imperative that retailers have easy to use sites.
June 22nd, 2011
We all have heard the sayings about first impressions, and most of us agree on just how important they can be. While many businesses are concentrating on the impressions that they make in store, many of them are overlooking an incredibly important factor, Mobile Websites. The Mobile market has exploded in the last few years, and the reality is that the business sector has not complied with the rate of growth. Studies show that consumers are reporting poor customer satisfaction standards across the mobile experience at very high rates, and potential sales are being lost due to this lack of satisfaction. If the sales of the smart phone and applications show anything, it’s the fact that people want the ability to spend whenever, wherever and however they chose. So why aren’t we giving consumers what they want?
Part of the reason is that businesses are still in the e-commerce stage, and have failed to see the potential in the m-commerce stage. While it is imperative to most businesses to have representation online via a website, this does not mean that you also own a presence on the mobile web. Just because you own an iPhone and can pull up a standard website using the Safari browser, does not mean that all of your customers can. Also, a standard web site is often too bulky to be used efficiently on a mobile device.
June 16th, 2011
I remember watching an episode of “Kitchen Nightmare’s” recently, where the grand reopening was taking place, and a local food critic was seated at a table in the restaurant. While the kitchen staff was attempting to get things right, and taking longer than they should, the critic was “tweeting” from the table. Although the viewers were unable to read the “tweets”, it was inferred that they were not exactly positive for the restaurant. While most people would find it rude to sit at a table and “tweet” all night, it is becoming more common place to “check in” and often times socially post while at the restaurant. The difference is most critiques are created post experience; while social networking makes the critiques a present experience. It’s much like reading the first chapter of a book and then writing a review about the entire book.
This is the age we live in, and whether it is fair or not, by entering into the world of social networks you put yourself at the mercy of the people. Unfortunately not all of these people will use common sense, or couth. I have seen many Facebook business pages that do not respond to comments made by customers that have had a bad experience. While I can imagine that this is the last concern of most extremely busy restaurant owners, it may be worth it to hire someone to maintain the site if time does not allow you to do it yourself. Nothing looks worse to another potential customer than seeing a bad comment, and lack of response on the part of the business. This is akin to putting a comment box slot on the top of a trash can. As a business owner, if you are using social networking to reach customers, it is a good idea to keep in mind that they will use it to reach you as well.
June 13th, 2011
As a consumer, I am shocked whenever I find a business that doesn’t have a website. This is a rare occurrence, while most businesses are using Mobile marketing; there are still those who do not exist on the web. In a time where .com domains are running low, and the Internet is packed with competition, I find it hard to believe that a business can afford to miss this opportunity. Even if the website is a simple static page that lists an address and phone number, it’s accessibility by mobile phones and PC is a form of customer service. If a customer wants to use your service, don’t make them do detective work to find you.
While Mobile Internet purchases continue to increase with consumers growing more comfortable with the idea, the opportunity for marketing your business is in consumer research. Most people, myself included, research products and services online, whether it’s by mobile device or PC, before they make a purchase. If you make your business available on the Internet, and by Mobile Web, you have greatly increased your chances of finalizing the sale. Not only does this translate to profit, but it also builds consumer confidence. Think of a mobile website as a welcome mat to your business, or an open sign that is always lit. As a consumer, I appreciate feeling like you want my business.
The market is flooded with smart phones, and tablets that allow a consumer to research everything. I am guilty of standing in a bookstore, and scanning bar codes with my iPhone to see who has the best price. This “window shopping” scenario is happening everywhere, and if your business lacks Mobile Internet presence, you might as well have put up curtains. There are almost as many mobile phones in use in the U.S. as there are people, and one third are smart phones. That’s a lot of potential people looking through your window, or booking a table at your restaurant.