Have you ever been in a public place and taken a moment to look up from your mobile device? If you have then you probably noticed that just about everywhere you looked someone was staring at his or her mobile device. Whether it’s a laptop, tablet or phone, there’s no question that the world has gone mobile. Businesses are no different; they have also joined the mobile wave and increasingly they understand the importance of having responsive web design. While there are a lot of misperceptions about creating responsive websites, the trends and data support that the time to act is now and it can be done economically.
Mobile Devices by the Numbers
When it comes to the shift in mobile web access, the numbers don’t lie. Here are just a few:
- By August of this year, 17.4 percent of all web traffic had come via a mobile device. That’s a six percent increase since last year when 11.1 percent of mobile traffic was from mobile!
- From July 2012 to July 2013 mobile web access in the United States increased from 9.4 percent to 15.2 percent.
- Nearly a quarter of all website traffic was from a mobile device in the first three months of 2013. That represents a 78 percent increase from the same period last year and a 109 percent jump from 2011.
- According to Nielsen, more than 60 percent of all mobile phone users in America use a smartphone. And Statista says that by the year 2017, five billion people will use a mobile phone.
Is Your Website Responsive?
So what do all those numbers mean? Of course, you could use them to support a number of different theories and ideas regarding web access. However, one of the most important lessons to take from these numbers is that your website needs to be responsive in order to capture some of that massive mobile market. So what does that mean, exactly? Simply put, if your website is able to easily and smoothly fit on a desktop, tablet and smartphone browser, then it has a mobile responsive design.
Why Is Mobile Responsive so Important?
Making your website mobile responsive is important for a lot of reasons and it’s not just about looks. Looks are important, but mostly it’s about business. If you have a web design that lacks a good user experience on a mobile device then you could be missing out on a lot of potential customers.
An example I recently encountered was when I was speaking with someone from Advance Insurance. The company had noticed they had decent traffic coming to their website from mobile but their conversion rate wasn’t great. They made the necessary changes to their site to make it mobile friendly and they saw conversion rate increase.
Mobile responsive design is also becoming more important in the service industries. People are searching on their phones and want to have quick and easy results. For example a friend of mine was trying to book a limo for her daughter’s homecoming night. She told me about her frustration as she was looking through limo services on her phone until she came across Utahlimorentals.com which had a very mobile friendly site which allowed her to press one button to talk to someone. This site shows what type of site people are looking for on a mobile platform.
The fact is that more and more people are making purchases from their mobile smart phones these days, and the trend will continue.
Small Businesses and Responsive Mobile
Many businesses, large and small, are beginning to take notice. They understand that if they want to compete, their websites have to compete as well. Advertising, including online marketing, is a huge part of any business. So just how are companies using mobile responsive design to leverage their marketing power?
- Arguably, mobile is the closest you can get to consumers. Mobile devices are very personal and pervasive and business are using them to get close to their customers. As companies seek to comprehend how to better reach customers, mobile devices might be the answer.
- One of the greatest contributors to marketing performance is to be an early adopter of new media and to align your media with the consumer’s habits. In other words, by having a mobile responsive site you stand a better chance of reaping the benefits than a company who doesn’t.
The Future Is Mobile
Study after study demonstrates that the world is continually shifting to mobile. Although the majority of website traffic still comes from desktops it’s clear that web traffic from mobile devices will continue to grow. Therefore, if you depend on your website as an important part of your business (which you most likely do), then you have to get on board the mobile responsive web design train to ensure long term success.