“Americans use smartphone and tablet apps more than PCs to access the Internet – the first time that has ever happened,” the words of CNN following an in-depth study at the beginning of the year. This pretty much sums up in a nutshell why it is so important these days to operate a website that’s not only mobile-compatible, but comprehensively mobile-compatible.
What separates the two? Well, it all comes down to the way in which there are hundreds of millions of mobile devices all over the world with different screen sizes, different operating systems, different user-interfaces and generally different capabilities. Or in other words, just because any given website is built in a manner that delivers a fantastic experience to Microsoft Lumia smartphone users, this doesn’t mean those with a past-generation iPhone will be granted full or even partial access.
A Simple Solution
It sounds like a bit of an impossible balancing act to pull off, but in reality actually has a pretty easy solution – responsive web design. In years gone by, the only viable solution was to create a secondary website, or any number thereof, to serve as standalone mobile sites with very limited compatibility. As the global spread of smartphones and tablet PCs took off however this became a completely inadequate solution, leading to the introduction of responsive web design.
What makes responsive design unique is the way in which the website in question actually shifts, adjusts and generally reinvents itself in accordance with the device being used to access it. So it doesn’t matter whether it’s a 3-inch smartphone from 2006 or huge 11-inch tablet PC from 2014 – all users are given pretty much the same experience.
Why it Matters
To really get a grasp of how important universal mobile compatibility is, you first need to take a look at the stats with regard to mobile device use. Some would have you believe that the mobile revolution is on its way – those with a more accurate finger on the pulse will tell you it’s already in full swing. As mentioned at the beginning, in many of the world’s key markets mobile web access has overtaken conventional desktop and laptop PC access, which in one fell-swoop communicates the power and potential of a solid mobile-friendly website.
Here’s a look at a few more figures to drive the point home:
- Up to Three Quarters of Smartphone Users Admit Taking Their Devices to the Bathroom
Say what you want about hygiene and good manners, but the fact that folks cannot even use the toilet without their mobile devices illustrates the extent of the world’s addiction.
- Almost Half of All Shoppers Check Three or More Online Sources Before Buying Anything
Shoppers these days just aren’t willing to take chances when it comes to making even the tiniest savings, which is why mobile devices are used by almost one in every two consumers prior to buying anything at all.
- 80% of Smartphone Users Shop Online Via Their Devices
A pretty self-explanatory point in terms of its importance, recent data suggests that around 80% of all adults in possession of a smartphone have used or intend to use their devices to buy something online.
- Mobile Conversion Rates Are Up to Three Times Higher than Desktop
When a mobile web user accesses any given site in order to look for a product, a service or really any other reason to spend their money, statistics show that they are three times more likely to convert than a desktop web user.
- Around 80% of Retailers Will be Investing in Mobile in 2015
Last up, surveys have shown that around 80% of retailers of all sizes are planning to make further advances into mobile marketing efforts in 2015, having finally coined onto the importance of mobile.
It’s Now or Never
To look at all of the above points knowing that you already have a stellar website up and running that’s 100% mobile-friendly makes for pretty pleasant reading to say the least. By contrast, if your site doesn’t deliver the same experience for all mobile users, then you can pretty much forget about capitalising on any of the above stats – all of which are guaranteed to accelerate going forward.
The simple fact of the matter is that anyone not already in-line with mobile trends has fallen dangerously behind the competition. There’s still time to catch up of course, but to procrastinate any longer is to risk falling behind the pack to such an extent that any kind of recovery could prove impossible.
Or in other words, with responsive web design for the mobile movement it’s now or never.