Every business needs a mobile website. The explosion of mobile is changing consumers’ expectations about accessing information. We expect to find details instantly about businesses’ services and products everywhere and anywhere. With this in mind, it’s safe to say that the future of business and business growth lays in mobile, but like any wise business owner, one must consider if a mobile strategy will increase sales and sustain business growth before actually making an investment.
What types of businesses need a mobile website?
Essentially, every business these days needs a mobile website. As of December 2012, mobile internet traffic reached 60%, surpassing desktop internet traffic which declined to 40% (Source). Additionally, mobile search is increasing daily, being conducted by customers on the go, at home and at work. According to Google, 77% of mobile searches occur at home or at work; 17% while on the go.
While it’s crucial for every business to adapt to mobile, some need a mobile strategy more urgently than others.
The first category includes local businesses that require a client to come to a designated location, such as a restaurant, an office, theatre or a retail store. These types of businesses get a large amount amount of web traffic since customers turn to mobile devices as a primary source of reference for directions, phone numbers, business hours and the type of product(s) offered. In fact, of all google mobile searches 15% are conducted to find local art & entertainment information, 11% are conducted to find restaurant information and 7% for shopping purposes.
The second category includes service-based industries that need to be contacted in a matter of minutes such as medical professionals (6% of searches), home and auto repair (4%), and taxi and limo companies (2%). Legal professionals and travel related industries may also be included. Service based businesses cannot ignore mobile search any longer as the top search results are most likely to be clicked on (top 5 generate 75% of traffic), and those that appear at the top must be mobile optimized, according to Google.
In addition to the amount of traffic generated by a website, it’s important to consider the value proposition and opportunities that come with a mobile website. Google conducted a study of 500 small to medium sized businesses in various markets, tracking the “click-to-call” button feature on mobile websites. The click-to-call ratios that were extracted provide valuable insights into how businesses with mobile websites benefit from enhanced user experience and were as follows:
- Restaurants – 43%
- Taxi & Limo – 28%
- Auto Repair – 22%
- Home Repair – 20%
- Construction – 18%
- Medical – 16%
- Professional Services – 16%
- Beauty & Spa- 13%
- Retail Stores -12%
The average click-to-call ratio across all industries averaged at 18% which is a staggering comparison to lead follow-ups generated by desktop websites which falls in the 2-3% range. They also discovered that 3 of 4 mobile searches trigger follow-up actions, whether it be further research, a store visit, a phone call, a purchase or word-of-mouth sharing; and on average each mobile search triggers nearly 2 follow-up actions.
With the exponential growth of mobile device usage and the surge in mobile search queries, it is evidently not a question of whether to develop a mobile strategy but rather when.
Being an early adopter differentiates a business from the rest, allows potential clients to find them before finding their competition and attracts clients who turned to them after having a bad user experience with competitors’ mobile websites.
Late adopters benefit from witnessing and learning from competitors’ mistakes but risk losing a fare share of clients.
While the tradeoffs are limited, the business opportunities that come with a mobile strategy are endless, inevitable and profitable.