This is a great question for businesses today. After doing a bit of research, we found that the answer is not one of absolute numbers, but trends. We looked at the last year or so and we see a very enlightening picture.
Where do we stand?
From April to December 2012, mobile traffic grew from 10% to 20%. We see this as an indication that more people are switching to smartphones and tablets. These devices allow the user to immediately look up information on the web, rather than try to remember to do it when they get back to their desktop or laptop. As more people get the advanced features of a smart phone, we also feel that the numbers will continue to swing away from desktop traffic.
What we found is that about 80% of web traffic is from desktop/laptop computers, while 15% is mobile phones and 5% is from tablets. The tablet sector is coming on strong as the prices come down for the devices. Apple has a commanding 94% of the tablet traffic at this point. Studies also show that iPad owners are more engaged and spend 56% more time per session than iPhone users. That means they are spending more time consuming your content. When people spend more time on your site, they are more likely to buy from you.
What’s the big deal if I don’t?
Shareaholic reported that mobile users have a 9.56 percent higher bounce rate than desktop visitors. We believe this number will get higher as people get frustrated at content they cannot easily consume on their mobile device. Sites not optimized for mobile traffic will result in an abandoned session.
Recently, Google found in a study that 61% of mobile users will simply “move on” and go to another site if they find a site to be mobile unfriendly. This is more in line with our behavior on mobile. In fact, last year we saw several companies putting on a mobile expo at NKU. We visited every sponsor’s website and found not one of them had a mobile friendly site.
In addition, there was consensus on these three points:
- mobile sites lead to mobile purchases
- if you’re not optimized for mobile, shoppers go elsewhere
- a bad mobile experience can damage your brand
So what is the conclusion?
We believe 2013 will find an ever growing increase of mobile traffic. In fact, we believe it could easily reach 30% this year. That means 3 out of every 10 customers that want to know about you and your product will be coming in on a mobile device. We already know that they will spend more time on your site, but only if they have a pleasant experience. Can you afford to lose customers because they cannot read your website?
Mobile friendly sites are more difficult to put together, so they are more expensive to build, but they offer you the chance to capture a customer who is already in motion, perhaps toward your brick and mortar store. Do you want to convert that visitor into a customer, or lose them to a competitor? The choice is yours, but we think it smart to weigh the cost against the potential customer.
If you still wonder whether your business could use mobile, let’s get together and talk. There are ways to analyze your current web traffic to see what devices your visitors are already using!