With the recent announcement by Facebook about changing its look and giving its users a more unifying experience. What prompted that decision, you may ask? Part of the reason they changed their design, yet again, was to take into account the growing number of mobile device users. Considering that rise in usage, Facebook decided to change its design whilst staving away its mobile competitors like Instagram and Pinterest (which are mobile based applications). This highlights a key question from a business point of view: How important is it for your website to be optimized for mobile viewing?
The UK is a forerunner in mobile adoption and mobile advertising. A research done by Portio Research at the close of 2012 found that the UK had 83 MILLION mobile subscribers. Moreover, eMarketer forecasted that the number of smartphone users will be more than double between 2012 and 2016 i.e. from 19.2 million to 41.9 million! With the only possibility of that trend increasing for the next couple of years, we ask you again: How important is a mobile optimized website for your business?
Most likely, your response will be from a scale of important to very important. With that in mind, think about what the future of your business is and where do you want to target your consumers? As we mentioned in our eBook (Social Media Marketing for Business: The essential guide to promoting your business on social media), 78% of people turn to the internet to conduct product searches where as 46% of all searches are to do with products or services. If, like us, you’ve turned to the internet to search for a particular service or browse a company’s website, what hindered a great experience?
What do you do if you’re out and about and need some information on your mobile device? You tap on the first link but the website does not load fully. You are disappointed and go back to a different website that is more mobile friendly and choose to use that company’s services instead. The result: You lose a valuable lead while your competitor gains one. Direct Marketing Association UK did a survey recently in 2012 on how consumers conduct their mobile searches and found that at the top, 54% of people cited “news” as the most searched for item where as three out of ten people also said they used their smartphones to search for local shopping. When looking at how that may relate to your business, the research was also conducted on what prompted people to use their mobile devices and they found that 50% were looking for offers and deals, 44% were looking for directions and around 40% were looking for information in regards to a particular brand. A quick breakdown of most searched for items is as below:
1. News: 54%
2. High street retailers: 30%
3. Movies: 28%
4. Music: 27%
5. Local travel updates: 24%
6. Finance and insurance: 15%
So depending on what kind of business you run, these figures show that not having a website optimized for mobile devices could have a serious implication on your business.
If you are a business selling your services online, ask yourself- Is our website user friendly and encourages users to purchase on the go? For consumers nowadays, time is money. They want something that they can purchase fuss-free, efficiently and at a low cost. If your website is optimized for mobile, then you would fulfill the criteria. However, if your service is not that convenient, then they will turn away. Capgemini reported that there was an average 300% year-on-year growth in mobile retail however the conversion rate from lead to customer was still low at 0.7%. What was affecting that? Olivier Ropars, senior director of Europe mobile commerce at eBay, spoke to Computer Weekly and pointed out that less than half of retailers had any mobile presence which hindered the purchase process. Consumer were having to rely on desktop based websites to complete the purchase process.
In Q3, Google conducted a survey of 1000 adults in the US about features and capabilities people want from mobile sites. More than 70% of the users said that mobile-friendly websites were important and 74% are more likely to re-visit that website due to convenience and easy accessibility. Would that affect the perception of the brand or how your business is doing, generally? Of course! More than 50% of mobile users said it would. On top of that you’ll be losing out on 67% of consumers who would be more likely to buy your product or service. So depending on what action you take, it would either show your brand as moving with the times and keeping with the customer demands or show you as rigid, old-fashioned, a waste of time and lose more customers to your competitors.
Here is a cool infographic that highlights the key takeaways from Google’s survey that we found on MarketingLand.
Looking at these key points and statistics, there’s a new breed of web design that has cropped up called Responsive Web Design. In simple terms, it’s an approach to web design where you give your user an optimal viewing experience of your website on whatever device they are using, be it a desktop computer, tablet or a smartphone etc. For more information, check out our blog piece on Responsive Web Design.
1. Get on your smart phone or tablet and visit your website. If you don't have one to hand, borrow one! How does it look? Can you navigate around your website? Can you find directions and contact details? Can you browse and/or buy products easily?
2. Log into your Google Analytics account, and see how much of your traffic is coming from mobile devices. If you don't have Google Analytics, get your web developer to add it ASAP!
If you don’t know where to start, at Vie Digital we are more than happy to do that for you. Give us a call!