Even though we live in an age where the average person has their smartphone within reach for 22 hours a day, there are still businesses that haven’t jumped on to the mobile bandwagon yet. When you look at the numbers, it’s hard to understand why businesses are so hesitant to embrace the mobile platform. Today, there are 1.2 billion people accessing the Internet through a mobile device or tablet. In 2014, one in every three Americans will own a tablet, and 72% of tablet owners buy things on a weekly basis. Despite this growing market segment, only 57% of the top 100 brands have a mobile-friendly site. So whether you’re a CEO of a top 100 brand or a small business owner, here’s why you need to focus more on mobile.
Be Seen Locally
You’re out with a friend when they ask if you want to grab dinner. “Sure,” you say. “Where do you want to go?” You whip out your smartphone and scour the area to see what kinds of restaurants are near you. You find a Thai restaurant whose mobile site has tempting photos of the perfect dish of Pad See-Ew, prompting the two of you to head over to the restaurant.
This situation is common, and it’s what’s making mobile marketing such force in today’s world. 97% of customers use mobile devices to search for services or products in their local area, and 49% of those searches aren’t done with a specific business in mind. The majority of customers who search for local businesses act upon the search results within the hour. Mobile devices give us the information we need when we need it, and having a mobile-friendly site helps capture more of that audience.
Every marketing strategy hinges on the question “How much will this impact sales?” and if we’re discussing mobile, the answer is quite a bit. 52% of tablet users actually prefer shopping on their tablets as opposed to laptops and desktops, and 8 out of 10 people agreed with the statement that having real-time information on a mobile site makes them more open to spontaneous purchases and new ideas.
However, only 44% of mobile users do their research and make purchases through a mobile site; the preferred method is to use mobile apps to research a product, and then visit the store to make the purchase. So not only does a mobile site help people make quick purchases, it can also convert mobile users into in-store sales.
Cost and Design
The main deterrent for most businesses when it comes to making a mobile-friendly site or app is the cost, but most businesses find the investment worthwhile since 30% of mobile shoppers will abandon a purchase if the site is not optimized for mobile users. Developing a mobile page doesn’t have to be a six-figure endeavor; there are options for businesses big and small.
If a company decides to create a mobile optimized site, there are a plethora of options available from the simple one domain with 10 pages and 2GB hosting for around $13 a month, to the unlimited domains, pages, and views for $1,000 a month. But price shouldn’t be the main factor in what kind of mobile site you decide to use; going cheap on a mobile site that doesn’t adequately fit the needs of your business won’t be worth the money.
The middle option is a custom-built responsive website which will detect what kind of device your customers are using and render your website in the most effective way. The price range for this option is between $5,000 and $25,000, depending on how many features the site has. While it is a little more expensive, this is the most popular option used to create a mobile-friendly site.
Lastly, you can develop an app. This is the most expensive option as prices can add up quickly, but if you have a large volume of customers or services, it can be the most effective. Making a custom app that’s compatible with the iPhone and Android devices can cost anywhere from $500 to $10,000; if the app is going to be on a tablet as well, add 50% to the total cost.
Don’t Just Do It; Do it Well
Just as a well-made mobile site will help your business exponentially, a poorly made site will do just as much harm. Customers are surprisingly unforgiving when it comes to poorly made mobile sites with 57% of customers leaving if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. In fact, for every additional 100ms it takes for a mobile site to load, sales decrease by 1%. And when people leave poorly loading sites, 41% of customers directly turn to the competitor’s site. To prevent this, businesses need to take the time to decide which mobile option is best for their business.