The amount of time and money people are spending on mobile devices is growing rapidly, yet many businesses don't have a website optimized for mobile—and it's costing them.
The Numbers Don't Lie
Mobile traffic currently makes up 10 percent of global Internet traffic, and next year more people will use mobile phones than PCs to get online, according to Gartner. Purchases made on mobile devices amounted to $6.7 billion in the U.S. last year—about 8 percent of total online sales—and are expected to nearly double to $11.6 billion this year. By 2015, U.S. mobile sales are forecast to reach $31 billion.
Despite this trend, many businesses have not optimized their websites for mobile, frustrating visitors with tricky navigation and slow loading times. Jesse Haines, group marketing manager for Google Mobile Ads, told Mashable that a survey of major advertisers in early 2011 showed only 21 percent had launched a mobile-friendly site. A 2012 L2 study of the top 100 fashion, beauty, retail, hospitality and watch and jewelry brands found that only two-thirds had mobile-optimized sites, and a third of those didn't allow consumers to shop from their sites.
If you're in the business of e-commerce, those figures should help you gauge how much money you're missing out on; and to make matters worse, a recent Google survey underlines the damage you might also be doing to your brand by not having your site optimized for mobile.
Inside the Minds of Mobile Shoppers
The survey, which tallied responses from 1,088 U.S. adult smartphone owners, found that:
- Mobile sites lead to mobile purchases. This is a no-brainer. Shoppers are more likely to buy a product or service if your site is optimized for mobile. Three-fourths of survey participants say they are more likely to return to a site in the future if the experience on mobile is good.
- If your site isn't optimized for mobile, shoppers will go elsewhere. If shoppers can't find what they're looking for on your standard website, they'll seek out a competitor's mobile-friendly site instead of switching to a PC to revisit yours.
- A bad mobile experience can damage a company's brand. A bad mobile experience can create bad feelings about your company. Nearly half of the survey participants say they feel frustrated and annoyed when they happen across a site that's not mobile-friendly, and that it makes them feel like a company doesn't care about their business. More than half admit that a poor mobile experience makes them less likely to engage with a company in the future.
Time to Go Mobile
Are you convinced yet to make the move to mobile? Here are three resources to make your site suitable for mobile visitors:
- Ready To Go Mo?: This Google microsite will help you develop and test a mobile site with Google's own site builder tool, and see how others have done it.
- IAB Vendor Directory: Need a developer or agency to help you create a mobile site? You can find one here.
- 10 Key Considerations for Your Mobile Web Design Strategy: A good checklist for getting started.