Before mobile browsing became what it is today, it was nothing more than a joke. At a time when Nokia and Symbian OS ruled the mobile market, the cell phones that were available had large keypads, clunky graphics, and tiny screens: hardly a recipe for a good browsing experience. Navigating through web pages using these phones was a chore, and customers typically preferred to use desktop or laptop computers instead.
The introduction of touch screen technology only minimally improved user experience, since there were only a handful of people who could afford smartphones at the time, and no webmaster was interested in creating a mobile-friendly website for a limited customer base. Things started to change, however, with the release of the extremely popular iPhone line and the affordable Android-based smartphones, both of which pushed mobile technology into mainstream consciousness.
Today, when almost everyone has a smartphone, it would be a large disadvantage if your website wasn’t optimized for mobile browsing. If you’re still hesitant about spending time and money on this endeavor, here are five reasons why you need to get off the fence and commit to the change:
Reason 1: Potential customers can leave you
According to MarketingCharts, a popular website that analyzes marketing trends and data, 52% of customers won’t even bother to browse through your page if it doesn’t load well on their smartphone. Considering that the number of people surfing the web using mobile technology is rapidly increasing every year, this is a large amount of lost leads. Even worse, 31% of these customers are likely to vent their frustration with your website to friends and family, causing a chain reaction of lost business.
Reason 2: First impressions last longer than you think
MarketingCharts estimate that 75% of smartphone and tablet users give great importance to the look and feel of websites. Couple this with the information that 63% of customers prefer to shop on mobile phones rather than on desktop or laptop computers, and you have a pretty compelling reason to optimize your website for mobile technology. If your site looks amateurish and does not provide a good user experience, you are unlikely to convey the expected level of quality that is needed to make a sale.
Reason 3: Everyone is doing it already
According to KISSmetrics, a web-based analytics company, only 22% of Fortune 500 corporations had their website optimized for mobile phones in 2010. This number, however, rose to 55% in 2013. Mobile optimization has become the norm rather than the exception as smartphones and tablets have become more widespread. Even the popular blogging platform WordPress has now been providing themes that are exclusively for mobile technology. It’s time to get on the bandwagon before your online empire gets totally left behind.
Reason 4: Your mobile site is your biggest marketer
According to David Moth of Econsultancy, a marketing research group, new customers are 60% more likely to have used mobile technology prior to buying your product or service. This happens because users often utilize their smartphones and tablets to search for services that they need to purchase. In other words, your mobile site largely acts as a sales page for your business. Optimize it in order to give you that edge over your competitors.
Reason 5: Some businesses are more suited towards mobile users
Finally, there are certain kinds of businesses that would make more money by catering specifically to the mobile crowd. A good example is emergency vehicle assistance. When a driver gets stuck in the middle of the road because of car trouble, the first thing he/she is likely to do is find a local mechanic or automobile service using mobile Internet access. If you have an optimized mobile website, you are likely to get a new customer.
Looking ahead: The future of websites
We live in an age where computers can now fit in one’s pocket. As people are getting more work done while moving from place to place, businesses also need to adapt to this change by providing better mobile access to their products and services. A generic approach to website optimization is becoming less viable every year, and the five reasons outlined above only mark the beginning of this change.
Stationary is out. Mobility is in. Are you in?