No mobile-optimized website? You’re behind the times

Marketers can no longer ignore the relationships consumers have with their smartphones and tablets. We want and expect technology to be accessible at all times. A mobile-optimized website is just as important as a desktop site these days. In fact, predictions show that mobile devices will overtake desktops by 2014.

Mobile-optimized website basics

When pulling up a mobile website, the longer the load time, the higher the abandonment rate. The expectation is for a mobile site to load within three seconds or less.  Most mobile web users (78%) are only willing to try a site a second time if they don’t have a good first experience.

We need to give users a positive first experience. Image sizes and use of Flash are just two items to consider when thinking about optimizing the user experience.

Mobile friendliness is key

The mobile site needs to be user-friendly. In fact, 61% of customers say they are likely to go to a competitor if the initial site isn’t user friendly.

If users cannot find what they need, they won’t be back. Consider how easily users can contact you if they have questions and how easily they can get directions to your physical store or office.

The quickest way to assess your own mobile web needs is to take a look at your analytics. How many users are visiting your site from smartphones or tablets?  What pages are these users going to and how long are they staying? This data will help you begin the discussion of the best way to meet your customers’ mobile needs.

Mobile search activity

IBM reported mobile retail sales made up more than 16% of 2012 Black Friday sales. Plus, 79% of smartphone users use their phones to shop, resulting in 74% of these users making a purchase.

Not in a retail environment? Mobile users are also using their devices to search for products, book travel, read reviews, do their banking and search local businesses at rapidly growing rate. Mobithinking has an expansive list of customers’ favorite mobile activities in the United States.

Our mobile-focused world allows us to have most of our needs met, literally, at our fingertips. With our impatient lifestyles, we insist that the information is presented to us in quick, palatable bites or we will move on. The number of mobile consumers will continue to grow, and that means mobile-optimized websites need to meet their demands.

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