ComScore’s latest report indicates that smartphone ownership now represents nearly 80% of the cell phone market here in the United States. It is expected to rise to 85% by 3Q2016 and that there will be more smartphone users than Internet users by 2017. If you haven’t done so already, you’re long overdue to set your mobile strategy in motion.
A mobile strategy is a must
If you still think that a well-done mobile presence is unnecessary to your e-commerce operation, think again. The site we built a year ago, TechZilla.com gets 43% of it’s revenue off mobile. We used responsive design to accommodate buyers on any screen.
Yet I still find it extraordinarily common to see even new websites that fail to take mobile into consideration.
Meeting the needs of the mobile visitor
Here’s some ideas you should probably consider as you step up your website to meet the needs of your mobile customers:
- The “easy” way to build for mobile is to use a responsive design. Mobile specific sites are still common but often lack the richness of your desktop site. You may find that some of your customers want access to all the information on your website, not just what you have in an “m” site. Accommodate both the “quickie” customer and the information nut with smart design.
- That said, you still need to view the mobile version with a critical eye towards ease of use and speed. Slow load time increase your bounce rates even more dramatically on mobile.
- If you’re a local business or have a bricks and mortar channel, make your phone number and address very visible on your home page or set a landing page that triggers local searchers. I can’t tell you how often I’ve been trying to find a restaurant, went to their site on my phone, only to have to scroll, hunt and click 3 times to get an address that doesn’t even link to a map.
Mobile site, responsive design or app?
- Should you create a mobile specific website or use responsive design? How easy will it be for people to find what they need on your website if viewed on a phone? Do you have the bandwidth to modify two websites instead of just one? Responsive design makes it so easy because you’re only dealing with one website and it resizes automatically for any screen. There may be some businesses that are better suited to the use of a separate mobile site but it is imperative that this decision be made from the customer’s viewpoint. When in doubt, do what will work best for your audience.
- Should you have an app instead or in addition to your website? If you product lends itself to frequent repeat business and requires some configuration, an app may be worth consideration. One great example of this is Domino’s Pizza’s phone app. It definitely makes ordering a pizza easier than a website and encourages brand loyalty. On the other hand, it is unlikely buyers will download an app to buy a phone, shirt or other product. The loss of momentum required by an app download will cost you sales. As one of my friend’s put it, an app is better for maintaining frequent engagement.
Have actual users test your site. UserTesting.com now offers mobile specific user testing, uses real humans and not emulators, and is dirt cheap. Skip this test at your own risk!
In conclusion, if you haven’t already built mobile traffic into your strategy you may be missing easy, low-hanging growth for your company.