Nowadays, the Web is flooded with articles and reports about the increasing number of mobile users. The figures speak for themselves: the percentage of tablet users in the UK has tripled just over the last 3 years, smartphone usage has reached an impressive 62% and social network access has boosted up to 600% (according to Marketing Week and Quartz).
The traffic driven to mobile websites is astonishing and furthermore, it is growing every day, causing digital and marketing analytics to write new articles about the need of digital presence over and over again. There is only one “but”: are online consumers actually happy with their online experience? The reality shows that despite promising traffic levels, around half of customers are dissatisfied with the websites they access using their mobile devices.
An Eptica Study in 2013 revealed that many websites are not optimised for smartphones or tablets, which is considered as an issue for 52% of mobile device users. Several other online experience problems that the research mentioned include slow speed, limited functionality (compared to standard site) and difficulties reading the content on a small screen. Most notably, the Eptica report indicates that if the website, e-mail or application takes longer than a second to open, it distracts the visitor’s attention and breaks the flow. It seems like the rise of mobile usage has also risen expectations, and companies can feel this if they look at the website conversion rates and traffic ratio.
It is a shame that with the given opportunities and resources, some companies still struggle to make their mobile websites somewhat more usable and functional. The opportunities and possible revenues out there are breathtaking, especially considering the growing trend: more and more people now own more than one mobile device, which heavily influences consumer behaviour. For instance, the majority of mobile internet visitors use their mobile while watching TV. Furthermore, the more devices your customer owns, the more the chance of memorising your brand and eventually purchasing your product or service (Microsoft Advertising: Meet the Screens research). In fact, statistics demonstrate that consumers are three times more likely to make a purchase when using a tablet than a smartphone (Quartz).
Andy Warren, the reporter at Marketing Week, makes a good point about smartphones in his article “Mobile: making the personal connection”. With the rise of mobile technology, the behavioural psychology of consumers has changed. Smartphones are always with you no matter what, and therefore being connected becomes more personal. You trust your mobile device to keep you updated and in touch with the rest of the world; you trust it enough to store (online and offline) all your personal and work data. And indeed, your smartphone is now way more than just a piece of metal, plastic and some wires – it has become a companion. Furthermore, the smartphone is a direct connector between the company brand and the consumer – a window you see the brand through.
Given all this, it is in the best interest of all companies to have an mobile website which is speedy, responsive and easily navigated. It is no longer acceptable to have a sloppy attitude towards your clients and their online experience – there are opportunities out there, and they are moving fast.
- Marketing Week (2013) Mobile: Making the Personal Connection
- Marketing Week (2013) Need for Speed
- Microsoft, IPSOS and BBDO Worldwide: Meet the Screens
- Quartz (2013): All the important and surprising trends in mobile web browsing
- Eptica (2013): Mobile consumer experience study