Why do you need a mobile website?
Today, with the advancements in mobile technology and the increased availability of Wifi/3G/4G networks, surfing the web using mobile devices has become an normal sight the world over. Whether in North America, Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa or South America, you can easily spot locals catching the latest news, watching cat videos or social networking using smartphones or tablets
For many around the globe, who mostly just want to go online, it’s more economical and practical to buy a smartphone or tablet than to buy a desktop machine. The equation is simple: Mobile devices cost substantially less, and Wifi or 3G/4G networks are readily available for reasonable rates.
Along with this shift in device distribution, the nature of online activity has also evolved. Due to devices’ miniscule screen sizes (between 4 to 5 inches on smartphones) and limited hardware resources (weaker processor chip and graphics card), mobile device owners are more selective with the sites they choose to frequent. Sites that perform nicely on devices and give mobile users the most comfortable experience, benefit from the most traffic. The sites that aren’t are abandoned very quickly by users.
Basically, in order for a site owner to keep their visitors satisfied and coming back for more, their site must perform smoothly on devices and be displayed in an easy-to-view manner.
Here are some findings which might give you something to think about:
According to Compuware (July 2011), 71% of global mobile web users expect websites to load as quickly, almost as quickly, or faster, on their mobile phone compared to the computer they use at home.
Cisco (2012) forecasts that by the end of 2013, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2017 there will be nearly 1.4 mobile devices per capita.
The ITU (February 2010) expects mobile Web access – via laptops and smart mobile devices – to overtake desktop Web within the next five years.
Strategy Analytics (March 2010) estimates that at the end of 2009 almost 530 million users browsed the mobile Web on their handset. This is forecast to rise to over 1 billion by 2015.*
Four out of five US smartphone owners, use phone to help with shopping, according to Google/Ipsos (April 2011). A survey of 5013 US smartphone owners. *
For every shopping activity, including researching products and prices, reviews, promotions and purchasing products, most respondents (61-81%) [US consumers] preferred browser to native app.
Source: Keynote/Adobe (October 2010) *
In order to stand out and be competitive in this newly emerging reality you’d need to be able to reach out to the millions of mobile users out there, many of whom are not in the possession of a PC and can only access the web from their mobile devices. You can do so, by creating an optimized-for-mobile site for your business or organization.
Additional Resources – Responsive Web Design aka Adaptive Web design