In today’s fast paced world, just about everyone has a mobile smartphone. According to Digby.com, a marketing and analytics website, in 2013 56% of American adults were smartphone users, and 75% of Americans under the age of 43 were smartphone users. Digby also predicts that by 2015, 80% of U.S. cell phone users will have smartphones.
Bear with me for a moment and consider a few more statistics from Digby.com:
• 70% of shoppers used a smartphone while in a retail store in 2013.
• 80% of smartphone owners want more mobile-optimized product information while they’re shopping in stores.
Here are several more statistics to which retailers should pay close attention:
• 57% of consumers will not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site.
• 40% of consumers will go to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience.
It can seem overwhelming to think in terms of statistics for most people, but what all of the above points to is this: Mobile smartphones and tablets are no longer something retail store owners can ignore when it comes to the design of their websites. Millions of consumers are out there clicking onto retail websites on smartphones with tiny screens, and unfortunately, it is nearly impossible for them to navigate the websites that were designed for much larger desktop or laptop screens.
If you have never given this subject any thought, you should. Open your business website on a smartphone, and also on a tablet. Does it look as good on those devices as it does on a larger PC or laptop screen? Are all of the buttons and links functional, and are the pages easily readable? If not, then you have some work to do.
The good news is that websites today can be built with responsive design, meaning they can easily adapt to different size screens, as well as be responsive on touch screens. The bad news is, you may have to have your website re-built with responsive design for mobile devices in mind if it was built more than a year or two ago.
The cost of having a website re-done may seem like an expense that is not necessary and too expensive for small retailers to afford, but as Julianne Will points out in her article “Go Mobile or Stay Home” in the February 2014 issue of Paint & Decorating Retailer, tablet shipments are expected to surpass PC shipments in 2013, and to surpass portable PC shipments in 2014. That means a whole lot of people will be browsing your website on small touch screens, and if your site isn’t up to the task, potential customers just may be heading off for your competitor’s site with the touch of a fingertip!