No one is going to argue that the internet hasn’t fundamentally changed the way that people experience the world. Ten years ago, they might have, but not anymore. Now, mobile technology is doing it again. The smartphone has taken the internet and made it available to anyone, anywhere, at anytime. The way in which today’s consumer uses the internet is fundamentally different than it was even five years ago.
So, when you first put up your website it was geared for the Internet user of 2010, 2008, or even earlier. If you are a local business owner looking to connect with customers in your home town, the internet user of 2010 is no longer the target that your business is after. That’s because, for the first time in history, over half of all local searches are done from a smartphone or tablet. There are three main reasons people do mobile searches on these devices: to find entertainment, to engage others on a social network, and to find an immediate solution to a problem.
Mobile Market Watch, an industry leader in mobile tracking, estimates that 94% of the U.S. population between the ages of 18 and 44 own, and use, at least one mobile internet
device, like a smartphone or tablet. Of these users, 39% use them to contact businesses for more information about their products and 11% shop directly from them. This is only going to get bigger with the addition of more entry-level android devices, cheaper iPads, mobile Windows 8 devices, and many other mobile options. According to a research study of the leading search indicators by Morgan Stanley, mobile internet searches will surpass traditional desktop and laptop searches by 2015. Other estimates say it may happen even sooner, perhaps even by early summer in 2014.
While it would be great to have the kind of website that viewers want to share on Facebook, the main goal for a local business’s website is to make a strong first impression, cover what you do best, and answer the most common questions. Since the average smartphone user spends over 2 hours and 45 minutes on the device daily, it has become the number one source for information for a huge part of your customer base.
If you have not made your mobile customer base a priority, then you’re already late to the game.
Did you know that:
- 95% of all smartphone users have looked for information on local businesses
- 9 out of 10 users act on that information right away
- 61% of users said that if they didn’t find what they were looking for right away on a mobile site, they’d quickly move on to another site
- 48% said that if a site didn’t work well on their smart phones, it made them feel like the company didn’t care about their business
- Visitors are 74% more likely to return to view a mobile-friendly site again
- 74% of mobile web users are only willing to wait 5 seconds or less for a single web page to load before leaving the site. Typical websites built for desktops and laptops often take longer than this.
Since, according to Forbes magazine, one in five mobile users will place an immediate call to the business when they view the company’s website from a mobile device, this could result in an immediate loss of 15% of your sales.
We understand that this is a huge pile of statistics to devour in a single sitting. So, let’s break it down.
- You customer base is on the move and can get up to the second information from their internet connected mobile devices.
- They use their Smartphones to help them find immediate solutions to their problems.
- Mobile users are not patient. If they don’t find what they need immediately, they will move to the next site on the list.
- If your website is not optimized for the mobile web, it won’t be user friendly, and will prompt the user to move on.
- Mobile search is only getting bigger.
- 95% of all people with mobile search capability have done a local search to find the solution to a problem. If you want to be that solution, you have to make it easy for your customers to get in touch with you.