Mobile Devices Surpass PCs in Online Retailing
Often when new customers contact me to design and build a website, they simply mean the desktop version. Yet, as of June 2013, 55% of all time spent with online retail occurred on a mobile device and 45% occurred on desktops and laptops, according to comScore.com. In this ever-evolving world of the Internet, a business’ mobile web presence on the smart phone and tablet has become more important than the desktop.
Current Mobile Web Presence Trends
Below are a few interesting facts revealing how our lives are changing due to mobile technology:
- There are 6.8 billion people on the planet; 4 billion own mobile phones, but only 3.5 billion use a toothbrush! (Source: 60SecondMarketer.com.)
- Twenty-five percent of Americans use only mobile devices to access the Internet. (Source: GoMoNews.com)
- There are 5 times as many cell phones in the world as PCs. (Source: ImpigoMobile)
- Ninety-one percent of adults keep their smart phones within arm’s reach. (Source: Morgan Stanley)
- Nine out of ten mobile searches lead to action. More than 50 percent lead to sales. (Source: SearchEngineLand)
- Seventy percent of mobile searches lead to action within one hour. (It takes a full month for the same percentage of desktop users to catch up.) (Source: MobileMarketer.com)
- Seventy-four percent of people use their mobile phone to help them while shopping, with 79 percent making a purchase as a result. (Source: ImpigeMobileStrategy.com)
- Seventy-two percent of tablet owners purchase online from their tablets each week (Source: 9inchmarketing.com)
Capture this growing handheld market.
With the growth of mobile usage, businesses need to rethink their web presence to capture this growing handheld market. Businesses need to develop a mobile website presence with specific objectives –not just a smaller version of your website–but phone and tablet websites that specifically meet the needs of this growing market. Unlike a surfer on a desktop, a mobile user is browsing the web with specific intent of purchasing immediately. If he is searching for a restaurant on his smart phone, he will likely eat at that restaurant within the hour.
Elements to consider when developing a mobile website.
A mobile website is a unique website, which reflects the brand and content of the desktop website but with its own marketing strategies.
Consider and prioritize your business objectives as they relate to the mobile site. Distill the most important content and your call to action and design the site so that it attracts your viewers and is easy to use. Include the most crucial information such as contact information and directions to your place of business. Keep text to a minimum and deliver content that people can scan quickly. Every business has clients with specific needs. Consider carefully what content your customers may be searching for on your mobile website.
Keep in mind the “user experience.” Your site should have clear navigation to its pages. Because of the limited amount of space in the mobile environment, consider using icons for phone access, email contact and navigation. Your menu can be designed in a drop down, pushing other content below, as viewers click on the menu icon.
When developing your navigation strategy, consider what you want people to do on your site. Place an order? Email for a quote? Become a member? Come to your store? Make your goals clear and obvious in your own head and on your site.
Include social media icons, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, and Instagram. There are many social networking platforms, and you need to emphasize those that are most relevant for your type of business and promote your business on these platforms. Additionally, integrating these platforms into your website will help greatly boost your SEO (search engine optimization).
Smart phones and tablets are driving an ever-increasing amount of web traffic, and the numbers will only continue to grow as mobile devices become affordable and more mainstream. Investing in your mobile web presence to capture your share of this growing market may be one of the most important things you can do to grow your business and profits.