Think of the last time you had a spare moment to hop online and surf the web. Were you on your laptop, or were you on your phone?
If we were having this conversation five years ago, chances are you would have accessed the internet on a computer. But thanks to the growing popularity of smartphones, recent years have seen soaring numbers of people accessing the internet from their mobile devices.
According to a study by Deloitte, Australia is one of the world’s leading countries when it comes to smartphone adoption. The majority (88%) of Australians have transitioned to smartphones, and Deloitte even found that older Australians are driving a significant portion of this growth.
Meanwhile, in the United States, it’s predicted that virtually all (94%) of small business websites will be mobile friendly by 2019.
As consumers all over the world increasingly turn to their phones throughout the day, small business owners are faced with a few key questions: How can they adapt to new consumer behaviour? And most importantly, what benefits do mobile-friendly websites provide?
Businesses that upgrade to a mobile-friendly website deliver a better experience for customers, which can help boost conversions (including profits). In this article, we’ll take a closer look at exactly how these benefits play out.
How Non-Mobile Friendly Websites Limit Businesses in 2018
Let’s imagine a scenario most of us have been in: You promised your friend or partner that you’d make a dinner reservation at a restaurant that’s notorious for filling up fast on Friday nights.
But this morning your coffee spilt in the car, your day was a blur of meetings, and now you’re out on a jog and suddenly just remembered you still haven’t made the call. Yikes!
You screech to a halt, pause your music, and quickly pull up the restaurant’s website. But instead of being able to simply tap their phone number and automatically dial the number, you realise, with some irritation, that you’ll have to remember the number and type it in yourself–which feels impossible at the end of a long day, away from a pen and paper–so you give up and just keep jogging.
You might remember to call the restaurant later, but by that point, they may not have any space left. Either way, the entire experience will feel like a headache.
This is exactly the situation businesses that don’t have mobile-friendly websites put their customers in.
Companies that have already switched to a mobile-friendly website have done so to avoid frustrating their customers with this scenario.
Mobile-Friendly Websites Deliver a Better User Experience
By contrast, small businesses that have already switched to a mobile-friendly website can now deliver a seamless experience for users.
With the tap of a few keys, customers can find your website, locate the information they need, and take action, all without leaving their smartphone.
To continue with our restaurant example, let’s imagine that the restaurant did have a mobile-friendly website.
Your heart still skips a beat as you realise you forgot to make the reservation, but this time you pull up the restaurant’s website, locate the contact page, tap the phone number, and your phone automatically makes the call. In seconds, you’re chatting with a hostess who secures your table, and then you’re back on your jog without a care in the world.
Later, when it’s time to head to dinner, you pull up the restaurant’s website again. Instead of having to copy and paste their address into your GPS app, you can simply tap the address and it will take you to your GPS app, which already recognises your current location and immediately begins to give you helpful directions.
By allowing their websites to integrate with built-in apps your audience already relies on, businesses can reduce the number of obstacles customers face as they seek information online.
Providing an effortless experience for customers translates into happier customers and a stronger online reputation overall.
Mobile Payment Can Drive Higher Profits
With so many Australians relying on smartphones, the number of people making purchases from their smartphones has grown.
A recent study found that in Australia, mobile purchasing has soared by 25% as it has become easier to complete purchases directly from a smartphone.
Mobile payments come in several forms. Digital wallets such as PayPal or Google Wallet allow users to pay without entering their credit card information directly into eCommerce websites, providing an additional layer of security.
Mobile friendly websites also cut down on the chance that your website could malfunction while a customer is entering traditional credit card information during checkout on a smartphone.
Additionally, mobile-friendly websites make it easier for users to type in their payment information and shipping details. For example, if a user begins typing in their credit card number, a mobile-friendly website will pull up the numeric keyboard.
Businesses that don’t make it easy for customers to make purchases online are missing out on the opportunity for sales from mobile traffic.
By 2019, All Small Businesses Should Strive to Go Mobile Friendly
More people are turning to their mobile devices when they want to get online, and the trend shows no sign of slowing.
To keep up, small businesses should invest in upgrading their websites to become mobile friendly. To get started, explore your options by:
- Contacting the developer or agency that built your website.
- Consider switching to website builder software that is mobile friendly by default.
- Updating your website’s theme to a mobile-friendly design.
By taking action now, businesses can ensure that they achieve the highest possible number of conversions while delivering a better experience for customers.