The amount of time people in Britain spend browsing the internet using their mobile is on the rise, and will surpass desktops and laptops this year, according to research from eMarketer. Data from Statcounter reveals that mobile is now responsible for over a third of all internet traffic globally – a number which has grown from just 14 per cent in 2013. Martijn Bertisen, Google’s director of retail, and Laura Hugill, Google’s industry analyst, offer their top three tips for making the most of mobile…
Consider your own behaviour. How many different ways do you access the internet and how many times a day do you check your phone? The average UK consumer now has more than three connected devices, according to Consumer Barometer, and mobile is a critical tool in the retail journey, connecting shoppers with information about your business whenever and wherever they want it. Think your business has mastered mobile? Here are the top three things you should be thinking about in 2015:
1. A poor mobile experience will lose you customers
Martijn Bertisen says: The latest figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau show that 36 per cent of the top-spending UK retailers still do not have a transactional mobile site – and, worryingly, in the last two years this has only improved by four percentage points. Google recently announced that websites that are not mobile-friendly will be treated less favourably in the search algorithm, which will hopefully encourage those businesses lagging behind to put the consumer’s mobile experience first.
The key to mobile site design is to make it as easy as possible for customers to complete their objectives, rather than putting arbitrary barriers in their way. Never make a user zoom in or swipe sideways to read text, and avoid slow-loading pages – mobile users are on the go and impatient and research shows that 40 per cent will abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load. Remember that thumbs are larger than cursors! In 2015, make sure your customers can actually interact with your business on mobile, how and when they want to.
2. Traditional measurement undervalues mobile
Laura Hugill says: Despite overwhelming evidence, many companies still ignore the fact that users move across devices and undervalue the holistic role that mobile plays in this new multi-device consumer experience.
All things being well, most websites will have seen an improvement in their desktop conversion rate over time. However, they will probably also have seen a decrease in the time spent on their desktop site and the number of pages viewed. They may even have seen a rise in the number of new customers converting on their first visit. This is because consumers will have looked at the site on a different device, done their research, before sitting down at a desktop to enter the payment details and purchase.
As well as the impact of mobile on online sales, don’t underestimate the impact that mobile has on driving in-store footfall. Shoppers are now habitually relying on information from their mobiles such as in-store availability, cost, location and opening hours when planning trips to the high street. However, when that information is unavailable, one in four shoppers say they’ll avoid visiting the store altogether, according to Think with Google research.
3. Put mobile first to stay ahead
Bertisen says: How many cumulative hours over the years have been spent developing your desktop site? And how does that compare to your mobile presence? Despite overwhelming data to support the advent of mobile dominance online, most businesses are still not prioritising mobile-site development and maintenance over desktop.
Computer and tablet traffic growth on Google Search was flat last year in many retail categories, whereas mobile traffic globally grew at more than 50 per cent year on year, according to Google internal data, making it clear that mobile is now the growth driver for businesses online and should therefore be given highest priority for attention and resources.
To ensure your business is accessible to the customer when it matters most, mobile must be given the credit and prioritisation it deserves. Consumer behaviour has fundamentally changed, have you kept up?
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