Did you know that 60 per cent of online traffic now comes from mobile, as well as 55 per cent of time spent online shopping? It seems that many small businesses aren’t aware of this.
According to recent statistics only six per cent of small businesses have a mobile-friendly website.
1. Mobile surpasses desktop shopping activity
I’ve already mentioned that 55 per cent of time spent online shopping now comes from mobile, but consider this: 52 per cent of visits to online ecommerce retailers were also from mobile, along with 36 per cent of all online purchases, according to The Guardian.
This means your site needs to be able to adapt to the smaller screen sizes of smartphones and tablets, avoiding excessive scrolling and zooming in and out which contributes to high bounce rates and abandoned shopping carts.
You can test how well your site responds to mobile needs with a device emulator or operating system simulator.
2. Mobile-friendly sites are good for local business
If you think that mobile-friendly sites only benefit online stores, think again. According to Google half of all consumers who conducted a search for a local store on a smartphone, ended up visiting the shop in person within the next 24 hours.
This is compared to only 34 per cent of consumers who did the same action on a desktop or tablet device. Additionally 18 per cent of smartphone searches led to a purchase within 24 hours, as compared to only seven per cent of non-local searches.
If you have a local business you need to factor in the changing mobile behaviour of your consumers. This means having a site that loads fast on a mobile device and that displays the following information clearly and accessibly: business hours, store address and phone number and directions or maps showing how to get to store.
3. Holiday sales traffic
Holiday period traffic and sales are increasing year by year among mobile users. IBM was one company who reported a 10 per cent jump in site traffic from mobile devices between 2013 and 2014. Additionally mobile sales accounts for nearly one third of all online sales.
To cash in on this receptive holiday audience you need a mobile-friendly website for both iOS and Android that attracts your holiday shoppers.
4. Popularity of mobile internet
Of those who own a mobile device, approximately 40 per cent use it to access the internet, and half of them will go online at least once every day. As well as visiting websites users also spend time on social media sites and are exposed to mobile advertising.
5. SEO benefits
Having a mobile-friendly website also helps improve search rankings. Google now take into consideration things such as mobile compatibility, and mobile load times in the search engine algorithms, as does Yahoo.
6. Mobile app vs mobile-friendly website
You may have heard some buzz around mobile apps as compared to mobile-friendly websites. While both have their place your highest priority as a small business (particularly if you have limited funds) is to get a mobile-friendly website.
Once you have this up and running a mobile app is something you can consider down the track.
Overall the important thing to consider when designing your mobile-friendly website is user experience. People use mobile devices for convenience and to save time.
So, your page size needs to be small so it loads fast, text needs to be minimal (represent things pictorially if you can) and avoid links where possible as clicking on links on a mobile device is a difficult task. Before you launch your mobile site consider testing it with some friends and asking for their feedback.
Remember, that soon the number of people who don’t use mobile devices will be in the minority. So if your site doesn’t cater to the majority’s needs you will lose out on business to your competition.