Over the September 2012 weekend that followed the launch of the iPhone 5, Apple reported selling 5+ million of their latest phone. This sales spike is the just most recent and visible tip of the iceberg of the ever-growing trend toward mobile device use by consumers and companies. In 2010, worldwide smartphone sales totalled 305 million. By the end of 2012, worldwide sales are expected to more than double that number (see graph below).
By the end of 2015, IDC predicts that more people in the U.S. will access the Internet through mobile devices than through PCs or other wireless devices. Fundamental to continuing success in business now and in the next 2-3 years is ensuring your products and services are showcased and available via the Internet when using smartphones and other mobile devices.
In July 2012, Google published results from a study they commissioned called “What Users Want Most From Mobile Sites Today”. The study summarized survey findings of 1,088 adult smartphone users in the US. Their findings not only suggest that 61% of site visitors on mobile devices will quickly leave your site if it is mobile unfriendly, it also revealed that 67% are more likely to buy from a competitor, whose site is mobile friendly.
The impact of customers experiencing your “mobile unfriendly” website is not just limited to lost sales. The reputation of your company and brand could also be in jeopardy. 48% of the Google survey respondents were quick to assume that having a “mobile unfriendly” website experience meant that the company did not care about them, thus they made the choice to move on and look elsewhere to make a purchase.
Did you know 75% of customers prefer a mobile-friendly site?
—Google, July 2012
Here are some tips to help you make your website smartphone and mobile device friendly:
- Ensure your website is HTML5 and CSS3 compliant;
- Use a responsive design, meaning a web template that automatically adjusts itself to display properly on a desktop computer, smartphone, or other mobile device;
- Make sure videos load quickly;
- If you sell products online, make sure your shopping cart works on smartphones and other mobile devices (iOS, Android, Windows Mobile OS, etc.);
- Avoid using Flash and other outdated technology (Flash does not work on iPhones);
- Use a font that can be easily read on smartphones (at least 16 point);
These days having a mobile friendly site is not a “nice-to-have” item, it is crucial to building an informed and loyal customer base.