As things stand today, more and more people are going mobile. Walk around your city or town, observe the people you walk by, or the people you share transportation with. Chances are half, if not all of them, will be deeply engrossed in their handheld devices. Be it their Smartphone, iPad, or tablet, people are slowly but surely veering away from desktop computers as a means of connectivity. Even the laptop is having a hard time keeping up. Mobile connectivity is the way of the future. This is why your business needs a mobile website.
They say numbers don't lie. Well, here are some numbers for you. As of last year, November 2012, 13% of all the Internet traffic in the world came from the mobile device connectivity. That is 13% of the world shopping, searching and making decisions based on what they have seen online through their handheld devices. Granted, some of these people are often updating their statuses on the various social media sites, looking up one liner jokes to tell their friends at the bar and looking up directions. This is just fun. The main driving force however, is shopping. Last holiday, 24% of all Christmas shopping was done online through mobile devices. In the United States, 29% of all adults already own tablets and handheld devices. This number is without a doubt poised to sharply rise as more and more manufacturers pay more attention to their handheld device lines. In India, there is already more mobile device Internet traffic than there is desktop traffic. The mobile phone currently has 5 Billion users worldwide. Only a billion of these use Smartphones. And all these people use their mobile devices to find your business online.
Let's get local. In the United States, 91% of the entire population has a mobile device of one kind or another. 46% of adults in America now own Smartphones. This number is larger than that of people who own regular phones. Of the 91% cellphone owners, eight in every ten of these people use their phones to go online and perform various tasks such as upload photos, shop, pay for items and find directions. This is happens to be one of the most useful activities people do online, live GPS, makes it easy for people to find their way around. That includes finding their way to your store. As mentioned earlier, 24% of all Christmas shopping after Black Friday was done over the phone. The retail industry is one of the leading when it comes to cashing in on this mobile craze. The other industry that is really thriving is tourism. Over 25 million Americans use their phones to look up and book destinations. This is only made possible by apps or plug-ins such as 'click-to-call' or click-to-inquire'.
So again you may ask, why does your business need a mobile website or at the very least a mobile app? As if these numbers don't speak for themselves, let's take a look at some of the most compelling reasons why you can't afford to be without a mobile website in this day and age.
Why It's Important for Businesses To Have A Mobile Website
The benefits of mobile websites are almost as numerous as the number of mobile device users in the world. However, the most outstanding benefits are:
1. User Experience and Demand
You have seen the figures, more and more people are using their mobile devices to find whatever they need online nowadays. Desktop websites are not created to fit on the tiny mobile device screen and are often cumbersome to view. Research has shown that businesses that do not have mobile websites lose out on organic traffic that would have otherwise been directed at their pages. Users value their time and experience, nobody is going to suffer through a website that does not fit on their device screen. They often click off and go to your competitor's site. Once this happens, you can be sure you have lost a potential client for good. With these sites, you cannot easily scroll through, zoom in or read easily, thus your bounce rate is inevitably higher.
2. Faster Speeds
This plays into the user experience point. Mobile websites are optimized for mobile devices, which means they will load faster when viewed through these than a normal desktop website. Every website owner knows that your site's loading speeds is a great factor when it comes to your bounce rate. The faster your site loads, the less your potential clientele traffic will click off of your page.
3. Allows for Better Client Engagement
People often want a one stop shop. This means that when they come to your site, they do not want to have to stop somewhere, borrow a pen, write down your number and then call you. This is too much work and beats the whole convenience purpose of mobile devices. This is what mobile websites negate. With mobile specific features like, chat or click-to-call, clients do not have to go through all this. With just one click, they can be in contact with your business to get what they need.
4. Better Advertising and Brand Visibility
Of course the mobile trend is going to have certain add-ons. These include mobile apps and mobile advertising. Adverts that come as part of an app download provide business owners with a more targeted niche when it comes to clients. These are people who are already downloading the app that is related to your business, which means they are or might be in the market for what your niche has to offer. Advertising here only gives your brand better visibility with the right kind of people.
5. Easier Integration of Social Media Plug-Ins
Social media has without any doubt become an indispensable avenue for creating traffic, brand awareness and cementing your business' place as an authority in your niche. This is why you need to be in constant contact with your page at all times. Mobile websites carry with them plug ins that allow for your fans to share your information through the various social sites. Not only does your brand get around, but you can use this platform as an avenue to run your specials to drum up more business.
There are companies that make it much easier for you to get yourself a mobile website. You can either have your current website optimized for mobile devices or you could simply download and run mobile apps that recognize when a user is searching for your keywords using a mobile device. This way,. They are automatically redirected to your mobile website thus you can avoid the ever impending high clientele bounce rate.
Whichever way you choose to look at it, your business' bottom line will soon depend on whether or not you have a mobile website. In fact, the impacts of not having your website optimized for mobile devices may be already reverberating through your niche. The bounce rate we talked about earlier takes a little while to be felt. Before you know it, your competitor could be already locking down all the organic traffic that would have otherwise been directed at your business. The ultimate benefit of having a mobile website is that it will or is affecting how much business you get. This Christmas, the 24% piece of all online shopping business that was drummed up through mobile devices last year will be a much higher. Whether or not you get a share depends on your having a mobile website.
Written by: Robert.O –EZ App Designer Staff Writer (Copyright 2013)