How mobile are you?

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Not you, but your website.  In June 2013 for the first time, smartphones outsold traditional basic and feature cell phones.  Think about the last time you were in a cell phone store, how many non-smartphones did you see?  Today if you are in the market for a basic or feature phone the number of choices available range from 1-13 while there are several dozen different smartphones available.  This increase in smartphone purchasing has also lead to an increase in mobile web traffic with smartphones now accounting for over 10% of web traffic across the Internet.

While 10% of browsing traffic may not sound like a lot, consider the benefits that mobile provides:

Instantly call a business simply by touching their phone number

Locate nearby businesses and get directions

Mobile internet users are more likely to purchase online via their smartphone

One of the biggest advantages mobile websites provide small to mid-sized businesses is the ability for a customer to easily initiate contact.  With desktop sites we have often used email addresses and contact forms as the primary route for prospective customers to contact a business because it made sense to use text since the user was at a computer.  But now it is very likely that your potential customer is using a smartphone to visit your website and it is much easier for her to touch your phone number and call.

The second biggest benefit for both consumers and businesses is being able to find a nearby business just by searching.  Since all smartphones can determine your location, search engines are now displaying local results for a users search.  This means that when Scott is heading to lunch and wants tacos, all he has to do is search “tacos” and all of the nearby taco stands are displayed.

The third mobile benefit is the trend of mobile users making purchases from their smartphones.  In 2012, mobile based purchases accounted for over $25 billion in sales.  So why are smartphones users shopping so much?  The primary factor cited by most users is the ease with which a purchase can be made.  Gone are the days of being at the grocery store and remembering you need a new pair of running shoes.  Today, with your smartphone you have a sporting goods store in your pocket and can purchase your running shoes from the bread aisle.

The one thing that all of these benefits depend on is your site being optimized for mobile.  Gone are the days when you only needed your site to look great on a desktop and you could expect mobile visitors to tolerate scrolling and zooming and non-working navigation.  Now the absence or presence of a mobile formatted website can be the deciding factor in losing or making a sale.  So if you’re not mobile, you’re missing out on the fastest growing market online.