You can’t miss it these days. Everyone is accessing the internet from their mobiles and tablets as they sit in cafes, chat on the train or even as they’re walking down the street. We now demand information fast, and whatever patience we did have has now gone completely if we stumble across a website when we’re on the move that is either too slow to load or is difficult to navigate on a small screen.
So bearing all this in mind, do businesses need to be aware that their websites should be mobile-friendly?
Some recent stats reveal that worldwide businesses are being a bit slower on the uptake of mobile sites than the growth of the mobile web is demanding. Not every big player in the e-commerce arena has gone mobile friendly yet, so why should you?
Why do you need a mobile-friendly site?
It’s predicted that data mobile internet use is expected to overtake traditional desktop or laptop use by 2014. Around half of all local searches already take place on mobile or tablet devices.
And here are a few more numbers for you to crunch….
- There are currently around 4 billion mobile phones in use around the world, of which just over 1 billion are smart phones
- 50% of local searches are carried out on mobiles
- 86% of mobile internet users use their devices when watching TV
- Of Facebook’s 700 million global users, a third use Facebook Mobile
- Around half of Twitter’s nearly 200 million users are accessing it via Twitter Mobile
- Purchases made on mobiles are forecast to reach $31 billion in the USA by 2015.
If you look at these stats, it’s a wonder why every business hasn’t run screaming back to their web designer to ‘get them mobile’. Those businesses that have embraced mobile technology have seen a surge in their mobile traffic. You only need to look at the Facebook and Twitter numbers to agree with this.
What does a mobile-friendly site look like?
When we talk about ‘mobile-friendly’, we don’t just mean that your website can be viewed on a mobile or tablet.
A site that is truly mobile-friendly is one that is designed specifically for smaller screens. Where larger buttons mean that you can navigate the site more easily, using your fingers, and where what’s displayed on the screen is relevant to your needs.
Take a look at the screenshots below; the first shows the standard Ebay website homepage, and the second is Ebay’s mobile site.
As you can see, Ebay’s mobile site is a more user-friendly experience, where simplicity, relevance and ease of navigation are key. When you’re on the move and need to access information fast, you don’t have the time to spend searching for hours. If you can find what you want quickly and easily, then you’ll be using this method again. It all stacks up to a customer having a positive mobile experience that positively affects your brand and your business.
Don't be a sheep
It’s not yet known what percentage of all websites worldwide are mobile-friendly. Depending on what research you look at, it varies between 2% and 10% of websites that are specifically designed with the mobile user in mind. And the more you move away from the big name players, the less likely it is you’ll come across a mobile site.
So where does that leave you and your business?
On the one hand you can probably be certain that the vast majority of your competitors won’t have a mobile-friendly site. On the other, this gives you a great opportunity to get ahead of the game.
Here’s something for you to ponder: bounce rates (the percentage of people who leave your site from the first page they land on) for websites that are not designed for mobile use are a lot higher than those that are. Which means you could be losing up to 25% of your traffic right from the start. Take a look at your Google Analytics data to see how many people are visiting your site on mobile devices, and what their behaviour is when they are on your site.
We say, don’t be a sheep but lead the way! Instead of waiting around for all your competitors to wise up to mobile internet usage, stand out from the crowd and make sure a mobile strategy is part of your ongoing online marketing.
Having a responsive design for your site (techie speak for mobile-friendly!) will almost certainly lead to an increase in web traffic and ultimately more sales for your business. You’ll be known as an innovator within your market, not just a follower.
Read this and want to find out more on how your website can be made mobile-friendly? Contact us to enquire about our mobile packages.