Nielson has just posted an update on how many cellphones in the U.S. are smartphones. In February 2011, 36% of mobile phones were smartphones. One year later, February 2012, that number is now up to 49.7%, an increase of 38% in just 1 year!
What is driving this is the fact that more than 2/3 of new mobile phones being sold are now smartphones.
What does this mean for businesses and their marketing? It means that usage of the mobile web is skyrocketing. Those that think that they don’t need a mobile site because they show up on the first page of Google in the Google Places spots are sadly underestimating what their potential customers are looking for. They want more than just to have a click to call button.
And what about customers who look up a website on their smartphone, only to find there is no mobile site, only a site they cannot read or have to pinch and move around to read small pieces at a time. Businesses need a mobile site for more reasons than just for someone to find them and call. The lack of a mobile site also reflects a a lack of concern for their customers’ satisfaction and ease of use of their website.
To ignore the growing use of the mobile platform is a gross oversight and many businesses are being left behind. They have no idea how much business they ultimately lose because they choose to believe mobile isn’t important to their customers.
All you have to do is look around to realize that people are on their mobile phones…just about all the time and literally everywhere.
If you own a business and have a website, do you know what your website looks like on those mobile mini-screens? if not, it’s time to check.
If your site is not mobile-optimized, 40% of the people that land on your site from their mobile phone will click off and go to the next business website in line. That equates to a serious loss in revenue if your site is not mobile!
I have seen some HORRIBLE looking mobile websites – in fact I seriously thought the business owner would have been better off not having a mobile site than to have one that looks like a bunch of underlined links.
Mobile websites are an extension of your business brand. Please take this seriously when you look for a mobile web designer to help you with your mobile presence and strategy.
Every business is unique, with unique customers. Your website and mobile website should reflect this – and your brand – not a generic blob of color.
Ask questions, consider what your customers are looking for when they search for your business on their mobile phone, and make sure your mobile website provides that so they will STICK on your site, CALL your business, and BUY from you. :-)
Here are a few features you should minimally require in your mobile website:
- “Click to call” feature (It allows people to call you with one click from their mobile phone)
- Location/Directions. Today’s mobile website should be equipped with GPS activated directions that provide directions from where the searcher is TO your business.
- Review integration. Reviews are an important aspect of any consumer’s decision making process. Our mobile websites integrate reviews from multiple review sites to ensure there are no obstacles to a mobile searcher choosing your business.
- Web App functionality. We think it’s critical for our clients website icon to be on all their customer’s mobile phones. Our mobile websites come with the feature option to have a cool web app “push notification” when mobile searchers come to the site. The customer can add the icon we create to their mobile phone screen, and then it links back to the mobile website with one click. Now that’s branding!
- Design options. Don’t settle for a mobile website that looks like all the others out there. When your customers search for you on their mobile phone (and they are), they should immediately KNOW when they reached your site. It should represent your brand, without question.
“Google is seeing a dramatic change in user behavior because of smartphones. Users have connectivity every hour of the day, and they’re using it. Businesses have not kept up with the pace of evolution driven by smartphones.”
We’re trying to help businesses be ready for users to find them on their mobile phones and be able to engage with their customers on their mobile devices.
“This holiday season, a lot of people are going to get a tablet or a new phone. You’re going to see throughout the whole country an evolution in user behavior in how people check showtimes in the local movie theater, check the menu at a place they haven’t been, call to order pizza.”
Why is this a good time for your business to have a mobile website? The hardware of mobile phones is improving, data fees are falling and connectivity speeds and networks are getting faster. That means users are doing more and more on their devices, including searching for local businesses and using their mobile devices as their main computer.
If your mobile website has a lot of content or graphics, then each time your mobile site is accessed users are downloading a tremendous amount of content. Aside from the problem of usability of a full site on a small screen, performance is a big issue.
Tests show that users won’t stick around if it takes longer than 5 seconds for the homepage to load. Not only is this a potential lost sale for a retailer, users are not likely to return.
Your mobile website is a lot more than just a website showing on a small screen. It is used differently and one must remember that the networks and processor speeds are much slower. They cannot match those of a desktop. But mobile customers still have similar expectations for speed and reliability on their mobile device.
Your mobile website should be built with the mobile user and their expectations in mind and they will be more likely to follow through with their intent on your website and come back again.