Small business e-commerce retailers are called to adopt mobile (if they haven’t already) as an integral part of their sales strategy. At a base level websites should be optimized for mobile with a clear, intuitive purchase path across smartphones and tablets. Increased mobile traffic is a major opportunity for retailers because mobile enables more frequent contact with the shopper than stores and desktop computers.
If you aren’t optimized for mobile you’re ultimately losing sales. Research shows that 53% of mobile users will abandon your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load and 30 percent will abandon a purchase transaction if the shopping cart isn’t optimized for mobile devices.
Considering how important a website can be for any small business it seems only natural to take the extra care to ensure the website is mobile friendly.
Here are five reasons small businesses must have a mobile optimized website:
1. Mobile Users are Different
Mobile users have different objectives than desktop users. Typically customers using their mobile device or tablet want information in quick, easily digestible bites, while time consuming activities are usually reserved for the comfort of PCs. Customers report that their mobile purchases are often impulse buys and some statistics show that mobile users spend more money per purchase than desktop users.
To understand what users are looking for, when browsing either on mobile or on desktop, we have to look at their motivations. It’s these slight nuances that provide insights and, most practical, a foundation for how to manage content effectively for consumption across devices.
2. Mobile Gets Traffic
With one-quarter of global web searches conducted on a mobile device by over a billion users worldwide, mobile websites are just as important, if not more so, than desktop versions. Multiple sources report that smartphone users are engaging with mobile websites and apps while watching TV, commuting to work, and simultaneously while using a computer.
Understanding how users divide their time across devices is a critical point in optimizing your mobile strategy Research conducted at Microsoft and by the Financial Times shows that mobile user activity usually peaks during morning (6AM to 9AM) and evenings (6PM to 11PM), while desktop users performed their online activities mostly during working hours (9AM to 6PM).
3. Better Brand Engagement
People like your brand more when you offer a satisfying mobile experience and they’re more likely to return to your website later on a desktop. 90 percent of people report moving between devices, or “multi-screening”, to accomplish a task. When your mobile experience is optimized for functionality and consistency it fosters trust and affinity with users.
On the other hand if your mobile website is difficult to navigate customers are more likely to go to the competition than to visit you on a desktop computer. If you can’t provide what they need when they need it you will have lost the opportunity for the sale and risk losing a customer to a competitor.
4. Increased Conversions
Desktop websites in mobile browsers are ineffective at converting visitors into buyers. Calls to action (CTAs) are often obscured, links are difficult to click and contact pages are buried in awkward menus. Mobile shoppers have little patience for an unwieldy website and one-third of them will leave a transaction if the site isn’t optimized for mobile.
To make the most of mobile, CTAs should be clear and easy to click and contact information should be one of the first things visitors see. 80 percent of shoppers admit that mobile purchases are impulse-driven and that they’re more likely to purchase from and interact with a brand that offers an engaging mobile experience.
5. Reduce Your Bounce Rate
Content that looks great on a desktop might be unreadable on a mobile device. Visitors won’t stay on your site if they have to pinch and zoom or squint at illegible type, or worse yet if it runs flash or anything that requires add-ons to display in a browser. If your website isn’t optimized professionally for mobile your bounce rate on mobile devices is going to be extremely high. By providing mobile visitors with an appropriate and intuitive user experience you will obviously engage visitors longer and drive more of them to purchase.
The amount of time and money people are spending on mobile devices is growing rapidly and yet many businesses don't have a website optimized for mobile. According to a recent survey, only 56% of small business websites are responsive. If you want to stay relevant and attractive to your visitors, you need to provide them with easier access through their various devices. Companies that optimize their websites for mobile use have a competitive advantage when compared to their competitors who do not optimize.