It’s only a matter of months before smartphone and tablet traffic surpasses desktop traffic on the Internet of everything with non-mobile aware sites losing market share
By Stephen Pate – Depending on whose numbers you look at, Mobile access on the internet has passed or will shortly pass desktop use. Your retail customers are more likely to shop your business, if they can, from their smartphones and tablets. Nielsen: More Time On Internet Through Smartphones Than PCs
If your website is not mobile aware, you are losing out on business.
Restaurants recently found that more than 40% of their daytime business came from mobile users. On the weekend the number is 50%.
While the tipping point for mobile internet business is upon us, 91% of small and medium-sized businesses SMB’s don’t have a mobile optimized website. When a prospective customer comes to your site on their iPhone, will they be able to find what they want or will they move on to your competitors without spending their money?
Desktop computer sales have shrunk for 2 years and mobile sales have been on a rising trajectory since Apple introduced the modern smartphone in 2007. It only took 7 years to change the world of computers. The next major shift will be to wearables but that market is in its infancy at this point.
SMB’s are not the only businesses trailing behind their customers. Major retailers like BestBuy.com just made the mobile conversion in the US while their Canadian stores BestBuy.ca and FutureShop.ca are not optimized for mobile yet.
Formatting the site so that people can find what they want using a smartphone or tablet is the first problem. Getting consumers through the checkout process with ease is another and BestBuy.com has not fixed that problem yet. During peak periods it can take more than 30 minutes to complete a transaction on BestBuy.
Amazon.com is the king of retail internet sales and have, without out a doubt, the best mobile site for navigation and checkout. I am not just saying that because NJN Network is an Amazon Affiliate. I use Amazon.com daily to research and buy products. Unless there is a material price difference from an another source, Amazon.com gets the business because they make it easy. Apple’s iTunes store is the only other vendor who has mastered the mobile store.
How bad is it?
Business2community.com compiled these numbers about the gap between customers mobile use and business.
- “While more than half of all U.S. adults use a smartphone, 91% of SMBs don’t have a mobile-optimized website.
- However, SMBs are expecting U.S. mobile sales to grow by 630% in 2014.
- 32% of all U.S. SMBs agree that businesses without mobile-optimized websites will be left behind.
- However, only 15% of U.S. SMBs with a website say they’ll create a mobile-friendly version in the next 12-18 months!
The lack of mobile initiative means U.S. SMBs could miss out on $1 trillion per year! The majority of U.S. SMB websites are not mobile friendly. A few industries are ranking particularly low:
- 80% of builders’ websites are not mobile-friendly.
- 75% of electricians’ websites are not mobile-friendly.
- 63% of hairdressers’ websites are not mobile-friendly.
- 59% of beauty salons’ websites are not mobile-friendly.”
That’s a lot of small and medium-sized businesses to catch up.
Mobile sites are possible to build without breaking the bank
The buzz word for mobile sites is not Apps but “responsive”. SMBs don’t have the budgets to build apps for the Apple, Android and Windows mobile platforms. It’s not just one app since each platform comes in different sizes from 3.5&Prime up to 12&Prime.
The key is using modern web development languages and tools that build responsive sites that adapt to the device size and operating system. Last year, I found site maintenance was a big issue.WordPress CMS platform 5 years ago. WordPress updated the code to include responsive features that make building responsive, cross-platform sites easier. NJN Network runs the same code and data across the 3 major platforms and on all size screens. It changes from 1 column to 4 columns wide depending on the users device.
The next problem to solve is how to fit the advertising across all platforms and sizes. As the device gets smaller user tolerance of ads drops as well. Everyone is still working on that issue.
By Stephen Pate, NJN Network