Some recent client activity prompted me to put together a high level summary that clarifies mobile - what it is and why a business should care.
Start with a Litmus Test
The test is not "can I see my site on a smart device."
The test is "is the site usable and will I return."
What makes a site mobile friendly?
Just because you can see your desktop site on a mobile phone doesn’t mean it’s mobile-friendly. Mobile sites are designed for the small screen, with the needs of mobile users in mind. A mobile-friendly site can help your business connect with customers and drive conversions.
What kinds of things does a mobile site do differently than a desktop site?
Things like having compatible content. The mobile devices have smaller screen sizes, touch displays, and different capabilities, so sites need to be designed differently to accommodate them. The pipeline to a device can be smaller, so assets such as images and media need to be optimized. And interfaces like navigation, forms, and other interactives need redesign so that they provide the usability that a visitor needs just to browse and work with the site.
What's the Difference between a Native App and a Web App?
A native app can access the camera, GPS, microphone, device contacts, device calendar and is submitted to an app store for publication. A web app runs on the Internet Browser of any smartphone or tablet but cannot access the native resources on the devices that native apps can.
Your customers are already mobile. Are you?
- 2011: Mobile devices now outsell desktop devices; Mobile searches have grown by 4x since 2010.
- 2012: More people will use their mobile phones than PCs to get online.
- 2015: There will be one mobile device for every person on earth.
Users expect their mobile experience to be as good as their desktop experience.
- 40% will turn to a competitor's site
- 57% would not recommend a business with a bad mobile site
- 79% prefer mobile sites to apps for product reviews
Who’s Mobile Now?
It’s a top down event – the “march to mobile” is joined by businesses of ever decreasing size, meaning that if you aren’t yet hit by the wave, you very soon will be.
And you aren’t the first in your market or business class to be in discussion about it – virtually everyone in your position are thinking, talking, strategizing and/or executing against mobile.
Here are just a handful of companies across many markets that have both a desktop site and companion mobile site. By providing for both, they are successfully capturing visitors – in many cases, directly from their competitors – and retaining them for repeat visits by presenting them a usable site. Visiting them with a mobile device is a much different experience than visiting them via desktop/laptop.
Do My Competitors Have a Mobile Website?
Some of them do.
And while we have no way to know for certain, statistics indicate that most of them have mobile strategies in place, under various forms of execution.
And virtually all of them are actively in discussion over present and future strategy with regards to mobile.