Mobile Websites are the New Smart Web Design Requirement

Research Shows Trends Towards Mobile Friendly Requirements

Mobile Website Optimization Opportunties CLOSEUP AgencyCurrent research was reviewed to see if it makes a difference whether a Brand has a mobile friendly website or not. The results were anything but unclear and indicated a clear direction for today’s Brands in engaging consumers.

You’re Missing Opportunities if your site is not Mobile Friendly

According to a July 2012 Google study (conducted by Sterling Research and SmithGeiger, independent market research firms) entitled “What Users Want Most From Mobile Sites Today”, the bottom line was: Without a mobile-friendly site you’ll be driving users to your competition. In fact, 67% of users are more likely to buy from a mobile-friendly site, so if that site’s not yours, you’ll be missing out in a big way!

The study surveyed 1,088 US adult smartphone Internet users in July 2012. As Google indicates, a poor mobile web experience can negatively shape a consumer’s opinion of a brand or company and make it hard for them to engage or make a purchase. Notably, 61% of users were unlikely to return to a website that they had trouble accessing from their phone.


The Mobile website problem (and opportunity) is big...

According to the July 2012 Google study while nearly 75% of users prefer a mobile-friendly site, 96% of consumers say they’ve encountered sites that were clearly not designed for mobile devices. As to their experience:

  • 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
  • 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
  • 52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company

Mobile Friendly = Higher Customer Conversion Rates

Mobile-friendly sites turn users into customers where it was determined that if your site offers a great mobile experience, users are more likely to make a purchase. Many companies do not have mobile-optimized sites which is regarded as the biggest reason for low mobile conversion rates, where the mobile searcher gets frustrated with the on-site navigation and abandons the site. This is consistent with the July 2012 Google study where:

  • 74% of people said they’re more likely to return to a mobile friendly site in the future
  • 50% of people said that even if they like a business, they will use them less often if the website isn't mobile-friendly

The Future: No Mobile website, No Showing up in Google Search Results

The heavyweight giant of search is taking these numbers seriously where "We’re experimenting with ways to optimize the mobile search experience, including helping users identify smartphone-optimized sites," a Google spokeswoman says. Mobile search is heavily used to find a wide variety of information and to navigate the mobile Internet, as search engine websites are the most visited websites with 77% of smartphone, followed by social networking, retail and video sharing websites. The message appears to be that eventually Google will not serve up websites to mobile searchers that are not mobile optimized!

Smartphone Users are Becoming a Force to be Reckoned With

95% Look for Local information on their Smartphone - ["The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users” a study from Google and conducted by Ipsos OTX, an independent market research firm, among 5,013 US adult smartphone Internet users at the end of 2010]

88% of these Users Take Action Within a Day - indicating these are immediate information needs – [Google, The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users”]

77% have Contacted a Business - with 61% calling and 59% visiting the local business – [Google, The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users”]

54% Find a Retailer by Smartphone – [Google, The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users”]

44% Read a Brand’s Product Information and Reviews on their Smartphone – [Google, The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users”]

70% Use their Smartphones in-Stores – [Google, The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users”]

74% of Smartphone Shoppers make a purchase, whether online, in-store, or on their phones – [Google, The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users”]

48% Downloaded Coupons unto their Smartphones – [Global Survey by Accenture]

49% Compared Prices on their Smartphones - [Comscore Findings]

60% Make more than $100,000 - In June 2011, 14 million mobile users in the US, representing 6.2% of the total mobile audience, scanned a QR code on their mobile device, according to an August 2011 study released by comScore MobiLens. The study found that a mobile user that scanned a QR code during the month was more likely to be male (60.5% of code scanning audience), skew toward ages 18-34 (53.4%) and have a household income of $100,000 or above (36.1%). In addition, 18-to-24-year-olds were 36% more likely than average to scan a QR code with a mobile device, and those with a household income of $75,000 but less than $100,000 were 18.6% more likely than average to scan QR codes. (MarketingCharts, October 2011)

Get on the Mobile Train before it’s Too Late!

Essentially mobile has come on so strong since the smartphone has become a computer that you carry in your pocket and it’s as good as the one you had a few years ago on your desktop. According to Google CEO Larry Page, “I think we’re only at the very, very early stages of what’s possible with those devices.”

So far 79% of businesses don’t have a mobile website (, so the opportunity to have an early mover advantage over your competition is there. There is no reason why every business cannot take advantage of this opportunity, and eventually may be forced into doing so. Google already announced that websites that are optimized for mobile will now factor into ad quality and that last year it began to limit ad serving on smartphone devices if they pointed to landing pages with non-mobile friendly Flash-heavy content, as a means of improving the user experience.

The statistics have strong implications for businesses to make sure Brands can be found via mobile search, as consumers start to regularly use their smartphones to find and act on information. In addition, incorporating location based promotions will make it easier for mobile customers to reach your Brand because local information seeking is becoming so common among smartphone users. This suggests that Brands should develop a comprehensive cross-channel strategy as mobile customers utilize their smartphones in-store, online and via mobile website and apps to research and make purchase decisions.

A great mobile site experience is therefore becoming increasingly important, and users will keep looking for a mobile-friendly site until they find one that works for them. That means your competitors will benefit if your site falls down on the job (and vice versa). Give CLOSEUPAgency a call to see how your Brand can become mobile-friendly!