I recently read with great astonishment, that Apple’s website is not optimized for mobile browsing. Not one to believe anything I read, I quickly pulled out my iPhone and low and behold – the irony!
I will admit, while being a little surprised that Apple does not have a mobile optimized site, I am not the least bit surprised when other websites don’t (some of our competitors in the Mobile Advertising market do not). In fact the opposite is true – I am pleasantly surprised when they do.
According to a recent report, only 20% of the FTSE100 corporate websites currently provide support for mobile devices. How can this be acceptable?
Mobiles and smartphones in particular, are quickly becoming our primary content consumption devices. Research shows that accessing the web through mobile devices has consistently doubled every year since 2009 and by 2014, will overtake desktop internet usage. Morgan Stanley predicts that in the next five years more people will connect to the Internet via mobile than on a PC.
So not only are the majority of companies not catering to the habits of their users and not keeping up with changing trends, they are also causing their business to under perform.
Research by Aberdeen Group shows that companies that provide mobile-optimized content outperform those that don’t by 80% in terms of year-over-year increase in web traffic and achieve a 55% greater year-over year increase in the number of repeat visitors. And different research predicts that companies with properly mobile-optimized sites, can increase sales by 12%.
Now days, most companies have adopted digital marketing into their overall marketing strategy – from sending out email newsletters to online search campaigns. However, the market has moved so quickly, that companies without mobile sites, are again behind the trend.
Between 15 – 25% (and in some industries up to 50%) of people read their emails on a mobile device. That means that if you have links to offers or news within those emails, your customers are being taken to sites that are not optimized for the device they are viewing them on.
And mobile search already accounts for over 12% of total search and more than 50% of all “local” searches are done from a mobile device. Just imagine the lost opportunity that this represents with so few companies able to fully utilize this traffic.
So why have companies been so slow at implementing mobile sites?
Fears of additional cost or the management of multiple sites are often quoted as reasons for not implementing mobile sites. However, mobile sites are not meant to be identical to an existing website. They are meant to be “slimmed down” versions that are easy to navigate on the smaller format while still be a great showcase for the business.
And the cost of implementing these sites can be small, especially relative to the lost opportunity of not having a mobile site. And for companies that don’t have the in-house resources, there are a multitude of companies and software solutions to turn existing sites into a mobile optimized site.
The reality is, with so many companies still struggling to implement effective web strategies, this is just another area of digital marketing where they are going to lag even further behind the market. For those that have begun or have already implemented their mobile strategies – the market will be their oyster.