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Houston-based businesses winning the fight for mobile customers

23 Jan 2014

hibu industry league table highlights which UK cities are winning the fight for mobile customers

According to new research from hibu, a leading provider of digital marketing services for businesses, small and medium-sized business (SMB) in Houston rank highest for providing mobile-friendly websites. hibu has identified which U.S. cities are leading the charge when it comes to reaching customers through mobile devices. Houston business websites top the list, as the most (58 percent) mobile-friendly for iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy or the iPad.1

In comparison to the lowest-ranked cities, New York and Philadelphia, Houston’s small and medium-sized SMBs are winning the fight for mobile customers across the country, but with an estimated population of 2.16 million2, Houston SMBs without a mobile-friendly website are still missing out on millions of dollars of potential revenue.

Research results by city

Table of research results by US city

Download research results by US city table

Although some businesses are already capitalizing on mobile marketing, the research also highlights that more than half (59 percent) of U.S. SMBs' websites are not set up to let customers research or make purchases on mobile devices.3 With 56 percent of U.S. adults using a smartphone4, SMBs without a mobile-friendly website are missing the opportunity to reach more customers and drive sales.

Tablet adoption in the US has almost doubled in the past year and a third (34 percent) of American adults now own one5, so it is surprising to discover that 87 percent of SMBs’ websites do not support viewing on the iPad (4th Gen)6.

The iPhone 5 is the most popular mobile device for SMBs to design their website for; although the Android-powered Galaxy S range of phones is close behind.7 In spite of the continued popularity of the iPad, only 13 percent of small businesses are making their websites friendly for the device.8

Recent research shows that 94 percent of smartphone users use their phone to search for information about local businesses and services and it highlights that SMBs simply cannot afford not to make their website friendly for mobile.

Matt Anderson, Chief Digital Officer at hibu said: “Anyone who has visited a website that isn’t mobile-friendly knows how frustrating – or even impossible – it is to browse and navigate it on their mobile device. With consumers increasingly searching local businesses on their smartphones and tablets, it’s crucial that firms have websites that are mobile-friendly so that they continue to attract customers and do not fall behind their competitors. Business owners may feel daunted by mobile technology but in reality they do not need any technical skills to ensure that their site works well and looks great on any device, or even optimized specifically for smartphone or tablet.”

In order to help SMBs struggling with the mobile challenge, hibu has launched its business store, which enables SMBs to create a website or online shop that is fully optimized for mobile, search and social. Businesses can take advantage of the hibu website 30-day free trial before signing up to the full service.

For more information about the mobile research, including a downloadable PDF detailing the full research, please visit http://business.hibu.com/knowledge/hibu-us-mobile-audit.

Notes to editors

Mobile research methodology

hibu audited the mobile-friendliness of 1,000 U.S. SMBs’ websites, across 10 different industries, across the 10 largest U.S. cities by population. The researchers used Google desktop search to select the SMB’s websites to audit. E.g. a search for 'Plumbers in Houston' was made in Google and the first 10 plumbers that were returned were selected to audit. The audit of the websites was completed using a third-party tool called Browserstack, which live tests how a website looks on different mobile devices. hibu tested SMBs' websites across three devices:

1. The iPhone 5
2. The Samsung Galaxy S
3. The iPad (4th gen)


1Source: hibu US mobile audit, month of October 2013, among websites audited
2 Source: US Census Bureau 2012 (estimate)
3 Source: hibu US mobile audit, month of October 2013, among websites audited
4 Source: Our Mobile Planet, US, Google, month of May 2013
5 Source: Pew Research, 2013
6 Source: hibu US mobile audit, month of October 2013, among websites audited
7 Source: hibu US mobile audit, month of October 2013, among websites audited
8 Source: hibu US mobile audit, month of October 2013, among websites audited

Related links

Twitter: @hibuUS - https://twitter.com/hibuUS
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hibuUS
Google+: https://plus.google.com/115195563293334556732/about
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/6936
hibu business store: hibu.com

About hibu

hibu helps communities thrive by facilitating millions of connections each year between consumers who want to find products and services locally and the merchants who provide them.

hibu helps merchants compete in the digital world with a broad range of marketing and commerce solutions offered online and through hibu’s direct sales teams. Building on its heritage as a premier directories provider, hibu continues to offer a full range of print- and distribution-based marketing services.

hibu operates in the UK, US, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Peru and US Hispanic markets. In the twelve months to 31 March 2013, hibu had one million SME customers and total revenues of £1.3 billion.

Press contact

hibu – Media
Rebekah Nicodemus
t: (415) 593-1400
e: hibuus@atomicpr.com