Do You Need A Mobile-Friendly Website?

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Power to the people smartphone - red

Photo Credit: upshot.net

Business owners often ask if they need a mobile website. The short answer is a resounding, unequivocal:YES!

If you use the internet to serve existing customers, and you want to attract new customers, then you definitely need a website that renders well and is easy to use on mobile devices. This not only includes smartphones, but all sizes and makes of tablets.

You may ask yourself, “Why do I need a mobile website?” Again, the short, unequivocal answer is: Mobile is where your customers are.

Over 50% of mobile phone users in the US now have smartphones, and 80% of them say they don’t leave home without their phone.

Google reports that mobile search queries on its search engine have exploded by 500% in the past 5 years.  It also indicates that 20% of all searches for phones and phone services take place on mobile devices, along with 25% of all searches for movies and 30% of all restaurant queries. Enormous numbers of searches for retail products, travel, financial and personal and professional services are also completed from smartphones.  (Do you hear that foot traffic? No? It’s the sound of people going to your competitors’ places of business, the ones that have mobile websites.) If you are in one of these industries, and your website is not mobile-friendly, you are losing out on a huge chunk of potential business.

This chart breaks out what kinds of mobile searches Americans are doing, and explores how on-the-go people shop online:

In the United States, an estimated 25% of internet users do so only via mobile devices.

This trend is strongest among younger people, whose power-use of their smartphones keeps them wired 24/7, no matter where they are or what they’re doing. They communicate via voice, text, video chat, photos, as well as email and social networks, like Twitter and Facebook. They also get their news, weather and time from their phones instead of other media. They use their phones for searching, mapping, banking, shopping, and all kinds of entertainment: from gaming, to listening to music, to watching the latest movies.  (If you doubt this claim and need further proof, check out this colorful photo essay.)

If attracting and interacting with younger people is important for your business, you needed a mobile friendly website yesterday, not tomorrow.

If you operate a global business, mobile is even more important to your future.

There are more than 6 billion mobile subscribers in the world: more that 87% of our global population. Over 30% of those subscribers are in the rapidly-expanding Asian markets of China and India. Studies show that over 40% of online shopping in Brazil and Australia takes place on mobile devices. In the United Kingdom, the US and Canada, that number is about 30%.

There is a huge gap between those who or do not use mobile devices in terms of their access to information, timeliness of communication, and the ability to interact with others.  There is also an ever-widening chasm between businesses that get mobile marketing, and those who think otherwise. Check out Google’s Mobile Playbook: The Busy Executive’s Guide to Winning with Mobile if you are ready to get going.

Your customers and potential customers are rapidly moving into the future. Are you going with them or will you be left behind?