The days where mobile phones were used primarily for communication are long gone. We’ve been ushered into a new era in which mobile technology doesn’t only connect its users with their friends and family, but also with businesses. When a consumer gets hungry and isn’t sure what’s nearby, they grab their smartphone and do a local search. When they have time to kill on their lunch hour, they browse social media on their tablet and see posts from eCommerce sites reminding them of current coupons and specials. And when a consumer goes to research a potential purchase, they’ll increasingly reach for their phone to search or browse a mobile website before making a decision.
Responsive Design V Mobile
The internet is littered with advice about the choice between whether you should have a website with Responsive Design or choose a separate website designed specifically for mobile. It is a very confusing picture with Google seemingly changing its position from year to year.
Google Recommends Responsive Design
In advice to webmasters Google (2013) recommends the use of Responsive Design for mobile devices. This generally means using different HTML and CSS for the site to reflect the device being used to display the site. Obviously this is a good solution. However we don’t always believe that Responsive Design provides the best solution in all business scenarios.
Google recommends a Mobile Site for certain businesses
In advice to Webmasters Google 2012 they recommend both Responsive Design and/or a new HTML configuration on a different URL. So when should you use a mobile site? If you have a retail style business or restaurant where a potential customer is going to want answers to 4 or 5 very simple questions before calling it maybe better to build a mobile site that loads quickly just with the simple information that is most likely to be required. Mobile users usually don’t want to scroll through lots of information to find basic answers. If you are not sure about the best solution give us a call and we will help you come up with the most beneficial solution for your specific business.
Responsive or Mobile – either way your business needs it!
In an age where mobile phones are like phantom limbs and we spend more time on our devices than socializing with others, can you afford not to have a mobile website for your business? If you’re asking yourself if you need a mobile site, then consider the following facts.
Key Facts about Mobile Websites
1. Mobile usage is on the rise.
It has been since the iPhone debuted in 2007, and it’ll only continue soaring (barring some sort of worldwide electricity crisis or apocalyptic event). In fact, according to Forbes, smartphone shipments are set to increase by 40% in 2013. That means 1 billion units will be shipped in one year for the first time ever. And smartphone usage is not a contained phenomenon: there are 6.8 billion mobile subscriptions globally, accounting for a staggering 96% of the world’s population. Usage in China, India, Indonesia, Russia, and Brazil is surging.
Tablets and other devices are also feeling the mobile technology boon. The International Data Corporation predicts the sale of 172.4 million units in 2013, with a growth to 282.7 million units in 2016. One third of American adults own a tablet, and experts predict that tablet sales will overtake laptop sales by the year’s end.
2. Web use is shifting from desktop and laptop to mobile devices.
As people increasingly purchase mobile phones and tablets, internet usage is shifting from desktop and laptop computers to mobile devices. 37% of US consumers now view content that they used to consume on their PCs on their smartphones and tablets. In fact, 78% of web users access the internet on their mobile devices, compared to only 68% on a desktop or laptop. Google itself states that mobile search on its titular search engine has virtually exploded–it’s up 500% over the past 5 years. And online shoppers are increasingly flocking to mobile devices. In the US alone, 25% of people who shop online do so only on mobile phones or tablets.
3. Mobile users want an easy browsing experience.
Even if you don’t have a mobile website, chances are people are looking for your website on their mobile browsers. And you can have the loveliest website in the world–but if it isn’t a mobile website, it won’t matter. As with any online business-consumer transaction, mobile consumers browsing your business’ website are looking for an easy-to-navigate, smoothly-running, aesthetically-pleasing mobile website. If a mobile website proves difficult to use in any way on a mobile platform, it not only reflects poorly on your business professionally, but it could lose you money.
According to a study commissioned by Google and carried out by Sterling Research and SmithGeiger, two-thirds of smartphone users are more likely to purchase a product or service from a company with a functional mobile website. 61% reported that they would click away from the website if they couldn’t find what they were seeking within five seconds. So choosing not to have a mobile website could even force potential customers or clients into the arms of your competitors!
4. 55% of businesses have optimized mobile websites.
Speaking of your competitors, they may be among the 55% of businesses that now have fully-optimized, fully-functional mobile websites. And 70% of marketers are budgeting more on mobile spending in 2013 to account for the meteoric rise of mobile connectivity.
Mobile technology is all about keeping up with the Jones’–just like consumers are constantly purchasing the latest models of smartphones to experience cutting-edge technology, you should be constantly updating your online marketing efforts to compete with similar businesses. This includes developing a mobile website that runs smoothly, looks great for your consumers, and produces real, measurable results for your business.
The Bottom Line on Mobile Websites
Mobile marketing isn’t just about reaching millenials online–mobile users come in all ages and demographics nowadays. If you truly want to compete in the business world, you need to follow the consumer, and as the evidence shows, consumers are moving toward mobile search and mobile websites.
All of Turn The Page’s custom-built websites are mobile-friendly, but we can also create an all-new mobile website to improve customer experience and encourage conversion. For more on our custom mobile websites, contact Turn The Page Online Marketing of Kansas City.