The mobile revolution is not on its way, it’s here! The amount of mobile traffic on the web has been rapidly growing. Everyone has a smartphone or a tablet, or both. It’s as common as having a TV.
Then, as an owner of an online business, you should take as much care for your mobile visitors, as you do for your desktop users. The thing is, they have different expectations and that’s where most websites fail. Let’s make a simple comparison between mobile and desktop users:
|In a hurry/impatient||Focused/relaxed|
|Looking for something specific||They might be looking for something specific, but usually just surfing|
|Input is based on touch gestures, not mouse clicks||Easier and faster input, using the mouse and keyboard|
|Distracted/smaller attention span||Willing to type, read or browse for a long time|
|Small screen||Big screen = big canvas for more elements and more functionality|
|Device resources and capabilities are restricted||Desktop computers have more than enough resources for web browsing|
|Connection speed can be limited||Connection speed is fast enough for any content|
How important are mobile users really?
The percentage of mobile page views according to latest statistics.
The portion of websites that are fully mobile ready.
This means that mobile visitors are often forced to load desktop sites. How do they feel about it?
The guys from Google have asked them and they seem very unhappy:
- 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
Shopping on the go
of smartphone users in the US use their phones for shopping.
People have always liked to shop as fast as possible. Bringing mobile apps and sites to ecommerce has made quite a change. If we turn to statistics again (one last time, I promise :-)), buying stuff on mobile is a true hit! What is more interesting is that smartphone and tablet users prefer mobile websites over apps for making purchases.
Are you mobile ready?
What can I say? When statistics speak, we have to stay silent. The mobile web is here and it’s a thing. It’s going to be just like the social media revolution a few years ago. Companies have a lot a catching up to do and they’re starting to. The question is, where do you want to be in the statistics?
Clearly, in order to have happy customers, you need to provide them with some mobile experience, preferably the best. That’s why you need to have a mobile-optimized web page.
Optimizing for mobile
I personally think that it’s best to strike a balance in what a mobile site offers. It has to provide essential functionality, but, at some point, going over the top and adding unnecessary options just clutters the interface and leaves your visitors frustrated again.
So how much is enough? There is no right answer to that question, but two things are certain here:
- you don’t need everything that you have on the desktop site
- the context of mobile users has to be considered
At the same time all important services that the website provides must be available, and they must work as fast as possible.
Here at Team Braiv, we’ve been tackling these issues for some time now. The outcome is the OpenCart Mobile Framework. We’re looking for the optimal speed/experience ratio and I can tell you—it’s a tricky business!