The Importance Of Getting Mobile Friendly

Last week the cellular phone celebrated an incredible milestone. 40 years ago on April 3, 1973, Martin Cooper, a senior engineer at Motorola, made the first mobile phone call from a Manhattan New York street corner with a prototype design that would eventually go on to become the world’s first commercially available mobile phone in 1983. At a whopping $3,995 US, the DynaTAC 8000x model was arguably one of the most expensive personal tech-oriented accessories of the day. Not surprisingly these first cellular phones began making regular appearances on popular TV and in movies, taking on the aura of an exclusive and rather impractical tech toy perhaps only the rich and powerful could ever hope to afford.

Today, thankfully, a lot has changed. Mobile phones have become incredibly ubiquitous in the marketplace and are currently the driving force behind the growing digital economy.

A recent Nielsen report suggests the growth of mobile devices has reached a “critical mass” with greater than 80% of consumers 16-years of age and older in developed countries using a mobile phone. In terms of daily usage, we’re using our phones for an ever widening array of tasks, from video streaming and price-comparison shopping, to email, social networking, banking and location-based navigation. Many of these tasks several years ago were only possible through desktop computers. Smartphone devices, now with greater processing power and larger screen sizes, are providing a viable alternative to the traditional desktop Web experience.
With more of our Web surfing taking place on smartphones and smaller tablet computer devices, it’s important to consider the benefits of a well-design mobile site and how proper execution can impact your company’s bottom line.

A study conducted by Sterling Research and SmithGeiger surveyed 1,088 US adult smartphone Internet users and found that nearly 75% of users prefer a mobile-friendly site:

  • When they visited a mobile-friendly site, 74% of people say they’re more likely to return to that site in the future
  • 67% of mobile users say that when they visit a mobile-friendly site, they’re more likely to buy a site’s product or service

The report goes on to suggest that not having a mobile-friendly site helps your competitors and can hurt your company’s reputation in several ways:

  • 48% of users say they feel frustrated and annoyed when they get to a site that’s not mobile-friendly
  • 36% said they felt like they’ve wasted their time by visiting those sites
  • 52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company
  • 48% said that if a site didn’t work well on their smartphones, it made them feel like the company didn’t care about their business

If you’re a small business owner, start-up, or established company, it’s time to start thinking seriously about solidifying your mobile presence with a Web site designed with the small screen experience in mind. In our next post on mobile we’ll explore what makes a Web site mobile-friendly from a design and execution perspective.

Image credit: samsungtomorrow