There’s no denying that smartphone usage has exploded over the past few years and the trend for rapid growth continues.
80% of internet users now own smartphones (Smartinsights.com) and in 2014 mobile internet usage overtook desktop internet usage for the first time. Recent figures have also shown that between August 2013 and August 2014, mobile web usage increased by 67%, whilst desktop web usage dropped by 17%, showing that mobiles are fast becoming consumers’ favourite devices for surfing the web.
Last year mobile internet usage overtook desktop internet usage for the first time.
Last year mobile accounted for 36% of all online sales in the UK, with clothing retailers seeing the biggest proportional increase of all at 40% (IMRG Cap Gemini Quarterly Benchmarking Report).
Back in 2010, mobile visits to ecommerce websites only accounted for less than 3% of traffic, representing a massive growth of over 2,000% over the past four or so years. With over half of all ecommerce traffic now coming from smartphones and mobile devices, it is clear that mobile commerce is the way forward for businesses.
Businesses that have mobile friendly websites can achieve higher conversions.
What does this mean for businesses?
According to Smartinsights.com, 48% of mobile users start their search for products and services on search engines. This proves just how important it is for businesses to rank well in mobile searches.
Businesses also need to find a way to keep their websites’ bounce rates as low as possible. Whilst the average desktop website will have a bounce rate between 40% and 45%, on mobile devices it’s between 65% and 75% for non-mobile friendly websites. This basically means that businesses are losing three quarters of their traffic but visitors have even had time to load the page.
The best way to increase your businesses rankings in mobile searches and keep your bounce rate to a minimum on mobile devices is to invest in a responsive website design. From 21st April 2015, Google will be implementing a new search algorithm that elevates the rankings of mobile friendly websites. By investing in a responsive web design now, businesses can benefit from increased rankings from the launch date, which will drive more traffic to their sites and allow them to achieve higher conversions.
Of course it’s not just mobile internet browsers that users utilise but mobile apps too. Mobile apps are often seen as more convenient, as they provide an easy way for users to source information.
Whilst there’s much debate about whether a mobile site or a mobile app is better for your business, in 2015 brands definitely need to consider the benefits of building a mobile app, in addition to having a responsive website.
Mobile apps not only benefit consumers but businesses too. They allow them to gather information about their users, which they can use to learn more about their customers and improve their products or services to meet their needs.
Mobile apps also allow businesses to utilise push notifications. These are pop up messages that appear on the screens of smartphones when users have given their permission to receive them from a brand. Push notifications are a highly effective way to communicate with your target audience; particularly if you have an offer or deal on that you want to tell them about. They’re great for gearing up customers to make those all-important calls to action.
How local businesses can benefit from mobile technology
However it’s not just ecommerce businesses that can benefit from smartphone growth and usage. Today many small, local businesses are beginning to explore the benefits of using mobile technology too. One of the latest advances we’ve seen is the use of geofencing technology to send pull notifications to smartphone users within close proximity of their premises. The geofencing technology essentially triggers an alert on users’ devices when they cross the parameters of a local business and sends them a message that entices them to go in and see what’s on offer.
Smartphone growth and usage is bigger than ever before and it’s only set to become even more of a phenomenon. If you haven’t already, now’s the optimal time to make use of smartphone sites, apps and technology to engage with your target audience and give your business the competitive edge it needs to succeed.