“By 2014, mobile browsing will be more common than desktop browsing across the globe”. Sound familiar? That’s because we predicted it back in February 2012!
Fast-forward to present day, and for many of us, the smartphone has become the first screen we look at every morning; yet many brands still haven’t optimized their websites to be responsive (where the site’s look and functionality adapt based on the size of the screen, or which type of device it is viewed on).
This doesn’t mean desktop is dead, as most consumers use more than one device on a regular basis; however, in the United States, more than half of all digital time spent comes from mobile devices (Comscore). Therefore, developing a consistent user experience across all platforms is crucial as consumers increasingly access the web on-the-go.
So, why is mobile optimization more important than ever?
1. Users expect it! With so many websites already mobile-friendly, consumers and businesses use their smartphones with the expectation that they can visit a website on-the-go with ease. Mobile users will do anything and everything desktop users will do, provided it’s presented in a functional way. The last thing you want are users finding reasons not to visit your website.
2. Your competition has already done so. If your visitors find your website hard to navigate on a mobile device, the typical solution is: go to the competition. A lot of your competitors probably went mobile years ago, so don’t risk another minute without it.
3. There’s strength in numbers. We’ve witnessed significant increases in clicks on mobile ads versus desktop. This is because of the volume of people accessing the web from mobile; over 32% of the world’s population (ITU) and 75% of the Canadian population owns a smartphone (Comscore)! Mobile usage has become so significant that Google has publicly stated a decision to identify and highlight mobile-friendly websites, making responsive sites a priority in search results (Mashable).
4. Desktop sites frustrate mobile users. You’ve most likely visited a full-sized website on your tiny smartphone screen before, so you’ll certainly understand the defeat you feel when you can’t navigate a page designed for a large computer screen, or utilize some of its functions. Research has shown that 57% of mobile users will abandon your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load (Huffington Post). You likely get frustrated when it takes longer than necessary to find information on a website, or maybe can’t complete a core function, so why put your customers through the same struggle?
5. Mobile is used differently than your full site. Users aren’t looking for the same information on mobile as they do on desktop. When sitting at their computer, users have all the time in the world to browse every corner of your site, but mobile is, need we say it again, for those on-the-go. The key is to optimize: look at the site from your customer’s perspective and figure out what important information they would need while on their smartphone; such as contact info, business hours, directions, etc.
6. It’s not just about smart phones! Tablets, smart watches, Google Glass… With the newest tech trends expanding outside of smartphone technology, becoming mobile-optimized is ever more crucial, as all of these new devices will play a role in how your customers interact with your brand.
Mobile is definitely here to stay. 2015 is almost here, so if you’ve followed our predictions, it’s about time that we all embrace “going mobile”. Consider your consumer’s needs from every angle and ensure every touch point will provide a positive experience.
As we’ve said before, at the end of the day, every great mobile site shares two common threads: simplicity and ease of use. Keep these in mind and you’re on the road to success. Happy mobile browsing!