Have you navigated a site on your smartphone while shopping online — and the page just doesn’t load fast enough or is all out of whack?
Your annoyance bubbles to the surface, as you face the threat of carpal tunnel syndrome by having to zoom in and click on tiny links, and play tag with fields on miniature credit card forms (grrrr). In frustration, you quickly close the page — hoping to forget the bad experience — except for the fact you probably won’t ever return to that site.
This scenario leads to sleep deprivation for businesses seeking to fully optimize their websites across multiple devices to reach, engage and convert their web visitors. Today’s average mobile user has the attention span of a toddler (I should know, I’m raising one at home). Mobile users tend to be very goal-oriented — they expect to be able to get what they need from a mobile site easily, immediately, and on their own terms. They want, err demand, news in 140-character bits (or less, for RT purposes, of course), one-click online shopping, and most everything with a simple swipe of their smartphones or tablets.
It's no wonder businesses lose potential customers with complicated, slow, or inefficient mobile websites. After all, if your business doesn't have a viable mobile strategy, chances are that one of your competitors does, and that product/service-hunting customer will flock to them.
Mobile is no longer an afterthought, it’s a must in order to stay competitive and help you reach your business goals.
Responsive design (more than just a buzz word) is becoming the go-to solution for businesses looking to optimize their sites for mobile without developing an app for each device.
But, how do you know if a responsive site is right for you? Well, the short answer is “it depends.” I’m not evading the question. Your mobile strategy depends on 2 key factors: your core business and your budget.
Next, pay close attention to your data and metrics. A mobile traffic analysis can help. Start by analyzing when and how users view your content on mobile — this will help dictate your layout — from the length of your videos to where you place certain content and calls-to-action.
Third, if your email marketing isn’t mobile optimized, you’re toast. Take a look at these stats: At least 50% of unique email opens are mobile, according to Experian Marketing Services, and this number is only expected to grow. Another statistic from MailChimp found that 70% of mobile users delete emails without reading if they're not optimized for mobile, while another 20% said they would just give up and unsubscribe.
Fourth, with global web traffic via mobile estimated around 20% (and growing), can your business afford to whiff on all those potential customers?
Okay, so can we agree that the question is not whether you should or shouldn’t invest in a mobile site with a great user experience, but, how fast will you move to beat your competitors at attracting and converting your visitors?
Key takeaways: Take action and start defining your mobile strategy along with your business goals. Understand the psychology behind your users’ activity on each device. Then, if you consider responsive design, use a multi-faceted approach to analyze your entire purchasing funnel. Last, but not least, when your potential or existing customers find you on their mobile device, be ready to give them a user experience so awesome, that they’d be fools not to return.
Editor's Note: If you're interested in learning more about mobile strategy, attend the Power Up Your Business with Mobile event May 14, 2014.