I get often asked lately how is the mobile site helping businesses? To me, and I bet to many IT professionals it sounds like being back in the late ’90 when companies still asked “why do I need a site?”.
As the guys from RedShitWriters say Sales are the Only True Business Measurement, so how important is a mobile site for the bottom line? With Almost 90% of the Fortune 500 not having a Mobile Optimized Career Site it looks like you might get along with the regular website as well.
Well, it depends. Sure, you might not buy from your mobile device a new car, but with PC sales around the world outpaced by total smartphone sales you should at least ask yourself: “How does my site looks on a mobile device?”
A thing or two on mobile site users
Even with the clear mindset that mobile devices being part of our daily life since a few years now, it doesn’t mean all users think the same when it comes to mobile browsing. I think we might think of at least 3 types of users:
- users that still like to get the full regular website on their mobile device. From my experience, these types of users feel that a special mobile version of the site might not have all the info the full site has. They don’t mind pinching and zooming.
- users that enjoy more a mobile optimized site. They need to find information fast, and feel that a mobile version might actually simplify the overcomplicated regular website and bring an user experience close to having a mobile app.
- users that still use mobile only for talk. They are unlikely to use the mobile for browsing, so we can’t do anything about them for now.
Then, there is demographics.
- if you’re targeting young, active consumers then, they might not even have a PC. Which makes the mobile site paramount if you ask me.
- if you’re targeting middle age, then you should know that browsing mobile is not necessarily about mobility. Information is consumed across devices: you might start on mobile while on the go, continue on PC while at office or at home, and end up on tablet before sleep.
And most importantly when thinking about mobile sites
Every now and then you hear how internet made businesses competition stronger. Sales are no longer geographically dependent and you might find yourself competing with other businesses hundreds of miles away or even in a different country. It’s harder to differentiate with the Internet being the primary source for information on products, prices and easy access to competition.
The question you should ask yourself when thinking about having a mobile site is: if it’s so hard to differentiate, customers find so easily my competition, how much of a differentiators is having an easy to use mobile site? How easy is for my customers to switch to the next available optimized site just because is easier to browse?