Why Your Website Needs to be Mobile

Your small business or community now has a website.  That's great!  It's supremely important that you have a web presence.

But, we need to ask you, have you looked at your website on a mobile phone or tablet?

The results may surprise you.  If consumers need to do a lot of scrolling and zooming in and out to navigate your website, they will probably just leave in search of a mobile-friendly resource.  If you sell online, how does the shopping cart process look and feel on these mobile devices? If your website is not translating well on mobile devices, it can cost you sales. Not convinced?

Mobile Shopping While In-Store

Check out this survey from a Cincinatti-based card processor, Vintiv.  The group found significant increases during the past year in the number of consumers that research and purchase right from their mobile device, while they are in-store.  It's hard to believe that we're making in-store purchases right from our devices!

Shoppers who paid for products in stores with tablets: 33%
Shoppers who paid for products in stores with smart phone apps: 11%

Shoppers who paid for products in stores with tablets: 19%
Shoppers who paid for products in stores with smart phone apps: 2%

Mobile Shopping Overall

The major increase in mobile shopping is, of course, directly related to the number of people carrying these devices around with them.  You'd be hard-pressed to name someone in your circle of family and friends that DOES NOT have a smartphone or tablet.

Who is shopping on their smartphones and tablets?
30% of 18-to-34-year-olds
29% of 35-to-54-year-olds
14% of those over 55 years old

How Much Money are We Talking About?

We're talking about a major online sales!  Goldman Sachs projects that U.S. retail sales directly on smartphones will more than double from $70 billion this year to $173 billion by 2018. Similarly, tablet sales will more than triple from $130 billion this year to $453 billion in 2018.

Moving Forward

We think you now realize the opportunity in front of you.  Just as the major players in retail changed with the advent of online shopping, the major players can once again shift with regards to the mobile experience.  How can you move forward?

1.  Can Consumers Find You?

The first step in many shopping experiences is simply setting foot in your business.  When searching on a device, can people get quick and accurate directions to your door?  Also, do you offer a sampling of what your business is like?  Photos of the great food or product selection can entice shoppers to visit you rather than the competition.

2.  The Mobile Experience

It's time to simply look at your website on a variety of devices.  Borrow your friend's Android device and your nephew's iPhone.  Conduct a test purchase transaction on an iPad.  The ultimate question:  Is it a good experience?  Easy to navigate.  Easy to put items into the shopping cart.  Easy to swap out product features?  Consumers are looking for enjoyable experiences when they shop.  Make.  It.  Easy.

3.  The In-Store Experience

Can you offer a unique in-store experience?  A number of businesses are capturing the in-store device browsing by offering:

  • A QR code that is scanned in-store for a special coupon
  • Specific shopping apps to allow customers self-checkout
  • Special offers by text message
  • Offering more purchase options online than in-store
The time to become mobile-friendly is now!  While the process seems daunting, it doesn't need to be. The focus is on making the process to buy from you, research about you, or enter your door, easy and enjoyable.