Let’s calculate some easy math given the following facts:
As of 2013, there are more mobile phones than people on Earth.
Consumers prefer their mobile devices over PCs
Online sales of mobile devices continue to increase
Your business’ website must be mobile-friendly today to stay competitive tomorrow.
Here are the facts to support this equation:
- With over seven billion people on this planet today, approximately five billion of us will be using a mobile phone by 2017. Based on the fact that 60 percent of U.S. mobile phone owners1 own a smartphone now (and more consumers are using their mobile devices to go online), it's safe to assume this percentage will continue to rise in the future.
- PC sales have declined the last five consecutive quarters but sales in mobile devices continue to increase. Forrester Research states that tablet sales worldwide are growing at an annual rate of 25 percent2.
- Mobile traffic currently makes up for ten percent of Internet traffic. And a whopping 25 percent of Americans only use mobile devices to access the Web3.
- Purchases made on mobile devices amounted to $6.7 billion in the U.S. in 2013 and are expected to nearly double to $11.6 billion in 2014. By 2015, U.S. mobile sales are forecast to reach $31 billion4.
So if your business' site is not mobile-friendly right now, you need to change your approach quickly. Because simply put, consumers are expecting it.
There are several ways to make your site mobile-friendly, but the best option that offers the most flexibility is adopting a responsive Web design, which enables a site to seamlessly adjust on any screen, like a desktop, tablet or smartphone. This creates a better mobile experience for the consumer – so there's no zooming, pinching or scrolling.
And employing a responsive Web design approach has five clear benefits to you:
- More sales: Mobile sites lead to mobile purchases. A recent survey of mobile users confirmed this – 75 percent stated they were more likely to return to a site in the future if the mobile experience was good.
- Lower abandonment rates: Forty percent of mobile consumers will go to another site if they encounter a site that's not mobile-friendly.
- Branding reinforcement: Sixty-one percent of consumers have a better opinion of brands when those companies offer a good mobile experience. Results from another survey indicate that nearly 50 percent of participants would perceive a company as not caring about their business if the site wasn't mobile-friendly, and more than half would less likely engage with a company in the future because of it.
- Cost savings: For businesses that manage two separate websites to accommodate desktop and mobile, this practice is no longer efficient or effective today. Utilizing responsive design would eliminate the additional time and money spent on updating a site in multiple places since responsive websites are agnostic to devices and their operating systems.
- Good for SEO: Search engines like Google appear to favor responsive sites for several reasons, ranging from user experience to easier processing behind the scenes. This equates to higher positioning on organic search result pages.
The Bigger Picture
Ultimately, it's not about the devices. To truly connect with consumers today, it's essential for online businesses to focus on creating the most optimal experience for their users. And utilizing a responsive Web design enforces and promotes this "user-centric" approach because it provides that consistent experience consumers want from any device that they choose to use.
Remember, people are not always near a computer, but most people have a mobile device with them at all times. And when consumers can access your website as easily on their smartphone as they can on a laptop, it allows them greater access to your business. And that's always the right answer.
The Next Stage?
The next stage of mobile devices appears to be wearable computers - tiny computers that users can wear on their bodies. Google Glass is one example being developed by Google now, where the user wears eyeglasses that can access the Internet through voice commands and gestures.
1Nielsen, Mobile Majority, June 2013
2Internet Retailer, September 2013
3GoMo News, December 2013
4Gartner, January 2013