Burlington, MA, February 11, 2014 — Endurance International Group (NASDAQ:EIGI) today released the next wave of data from its VSB Exploration. The survey revealed that, as many trends suggest, when it comes to VSBs (very small businesses), the boundaries between work and private life are quite comingled. When asked how they use their smartphones for work, respondents attributed almost identical responses for emails/texts/calls for personal (78.4%) and business (77.9%) use. “This struck me as fascinating,” says Michael Kesselman, EVP, Innovation and Strategy at Endurance International Group. “The contrast between work and personal life is becoming harder and harder to distinguish. These VSBs feel the need to be able to handle their businesses and their personal lives from anywhere at any time.”
In this latest panel fielded from VSB subscribers within the Endurance total subscriber base, this topic was quite popular, attracting 642 respondents in under 24 hours. In this online questionnaire, Endurance explored how VSBs use mobile technology in their businesses now and what they might want from mobile technology in the future. When asked to respond to a scenario in which they imagined needing to conduct business for one day without their mobile phone, nearly half (43%) said that sales would suffer, of which almost 20% also said that they would be severely hindered and unable to conduct meaningful business and 37% admitted a loss of productivity. Only 20% said that it would have no impact on their business.
The demand for a real-time and personal response is high. In fact, the number one activity that would be impacted without a smartphone is a customer’s ability to reach the VSB owner personally on their mobile phone (63%). This constant on-the-clock mode demonstrates why VSBs expressed an interest in monitoring and engagement tools that they can access on their mobile devices. 56% of respondents would like to be able to monitor website analytics and traffic on their mobile devices, and 49% cited engaging in social media as one of the top mobile activities they would be interested in. “The VSB owner feels a need to be constantly connected to customers and be informed about his business metrics in real-time,” says Kesselman. “Engagement and monitoring tools make that easier, and now, mobile optimization will make it even more accessible.”
Smartphones are the backbone of the modern VSB owner’s operations. 77.9% of VSBs need them for business-related emails, calls and texts; 40% use them for online banking; 44% use their smartphones to manage their reservations and appointments; and 41% use their mobile devices to publish content on their business’ social media accounts. While respondents indicated a strong reliance on mobile apps, over half (53%) said their own website is not currently optimized for mobile. That may soon be changing, however, as 37% of respondents said that while their website is not currently optimized for mobile, they plan to remedy that in 2014 — an opportunity with which the Endurance brands plan to help.
Mobile commerce, or mCommerce, already popular through Paypal, Square, and Google Wallet, is another area for mobile adoption, with 23% of respondents hoping to integrate mCommerce into their businesses soon. Those VSBs that ruled mCommerce irrelevant (40%) represent the relative size of professional services firms versus retailers/general service firms in the VSB segment seen in previous studies conducted by Endurance. It appears that this subgroup may not be as dependent on the need for personalized or real-time contact.
When asked what activities they would want to implement via mobile if they were capable of it, the most popular solutions of interest to VSBs included mobile metrics (56%), email marketing tools (45%), offering time-sensitive coupons (28%), QR code/barcode promotions (21%), and mobile loyalty programs (25%).
Kesselman adds, “There is an opportunity here to guide VSBs through a new wave of the mobile ecosystem. The results of this study further highlight the tools and support we need to provide VSBs to keep them connected anytime, anywhere. We believe there is a real opportunity to transform and streamline the way VSBs do business with the right mobile toolset.”
Copies of the panel’s responses can be found at endurance.com with Endurance releasing more learning in the coming weeks
About Endurance International Group
Endurance International Group is a leading provider of cloud-based platform solutions designed to help small and medium-sized businesses succeed online. Less than 20 years old, Endurance serves over 3.4 million subscribers through a family of brands that includes Bluehost, HostGator, Domain.com, FatCow, iPage, BigRock and MOJO Marketplace. Endurance is headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, has a presence in Asia and the Americas, and employs over 2,600 people. Endurance provides a comprehensive suite of over 150 products and services that includes web presence and mobile sites, email and eCommerce solutions, as well as more advanced offerings, such as SEO services, scalable computing, security, storage and backup, online marketing and productivity solutions. For more information, visit www.endurance.com.
This press release may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding our expectations for the growth and expansion of the market for products and services that can be operated from or purchased on a mobile device. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, plans, objectives, expectations, beliefs and intentions and other statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts and statements identified by words such as “intend”, “plan”, “expect”, “believe”, “opportunity”, “seems” or words of similar meaning. Actual results may differ materially from our expectations as a result of various important factors. For additional discussion of these and other factors, please refer to our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking statements represent our views only as of today and we do not assume any obligation to update such statements.
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