Here are 7 reasons why you need a mobile-ready website today.

7-reasons-why-you-need-a- mobile-friendly-website

In the last few years the shift in how users access Internet and consume online has been huge.

The whole world is going mobile.

You simply cannot ignore this fact anymore.

Here are 7 reasons you must take into consideration now if you have a website that is not mobile-friendly, or if you are planning to get a website, or if you work in marketing.

Reason 1: mobile adoption and penetration rate are going up

The number of connected mobile devices has surpassed the number of people on Earth in October 2014. The usage figures, provided in real-time by GSMA Intelligence, reveal 7.4 billion of connected devices and 3.6 billion of mobile users active in March 2015 on a total population of 7.2 billion.

There are more mobile users than PC users globally, according to comScore‘s US Mobile App Report:

number-of-global-users-mobile-vs-desktop-comscore

People are buying less PCs, and more smartphones and tablets.

Worldwide PC shipments are expected to fall by -4.9% in 2015, according to IDC‘s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

293.1 million PCs will be shipped in 2015. In value terms, the PC market, that reached US$201 billion in 2014, is expected to fall another -6.9% in 2015 with smaller declines in subsequent years.

The global smartphone market, on the other side, has witnessed extraordinary growth in recent years.

Worldwide smartphone shipments have seen an increase of 26.3% in 2014 over 2013, and are expected to increase 12% in 2015 over 2014, according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

1.4 billion smartphones are expected to be shipped worldwide in 2015, for a market value of US$382 billion:

global- smartphones- shipment-2009-2018eMarketer estimates that there will be nearly 5 billion mobile phone users by 2018, with over 2.7 billion of those smartphone users:

eMarketer_Smartphone_Users_and_Penetration_Worldwide_2012-2018_173599

eMarketer also forecasts that by 2017 more than one-third of all people around the globe will be smartphone users, and that 15 countries worldwide will have seen more than half their populations adopt smartphones by 2015.

Reason 2: time spent using Internet on mobile is going up

So, more and more people own smartphones (and tablets). And they use them to access Internet!

The amount of time users spend on mobile devices versus desktops has indeed increased.

According to Nielsen’s 2014 US Digital Consumer Report, US users were already spending in 2013 more time using Internet through smartphones and tablets than PCs (data below refer to Q3 2013):

how-consumers-spend-media-time-each-month-nielsenSimilar findings come from comScore: in 2013-2014 US users spent 60% of their total digital media time on mobile platforms, up from 50% 2014 over 2013, whereas time spent on desktops has declined 20% in the same period:

share-of-us-digital-media-time-spent-by-platformEven if the big majority of the mobile time is still spent on apps (roughly 80-90% of the time spent on mobile), web surfing through mobile is steadily increasing, stealing time to the surfing through PCs.

Note that, according to IAB‘s Apps and Mobile Web: Understanding the Two Sides of the Mobile Coin, released in Jan 2015, more than half (52%) of smartphone owners say they click links within apps that take them to content on mobile websites at least sometimes or more frequently.

Basically, while these users are technically operating within an app (so their time is considered time spent on mobile apps rather than mobile surfing), they are also spending time on the mobile web.

Reason 3: multi-device usage is increasing

More and more consumers own multiple devices.

80% of Internet users aged 16-64 years own a smartphone, and 47% own a tablet in Q3 2014, according to GlobalWebIndex, which forecasts that 2015 will be the year when smartphones’ owners reach parity with PCs/laptops’ owners (currently at 91%).

UK consumers own an average of 3 devices (and smartphone and tablet adoption rate grows at incredible speed: tablet tripled in a year, smartphones doubled), according to The World Has Gone Multiscreen, a 2013 research study by Google.

Reason 4: consumers are multiscreening

The majority of online consumers today are “multiscreening”: they access Internet using different devices.

They switch seamlessly between their devices, in different moments of the day, to sequentially complete tasks, or they simultaneously use different devices.

This is confirmed for example by ComScore’s UK Digital Market Overview and Google/Ipsos/Sterling Brands’s The New Multiscreen World study, released in 2012.

According to the latter, smartphones are the backbone of the daily media interactions of the US users: in 2012 38% of the daily media interactions took place on smartphones, which served as the most common starting point for activities across multiple screens.

The same study shows that 90% of the users moved sequentially from one device to another at different times to accomplish a task (98% of them during the same day), and 67% of people had used multiple devices sequentially to shop online.

The Connected Consumer Study, Our Mobile Planet, Mobile in the Purchase Journey and Mobile Path to Purchase, 4 important studies commissioned by Google in 2013 covering 56 countries in the world, have similar findings.

It’s important to understand that smartphones are more and more used for product research and direct purchases.

61% of the UK consumers use their smartphones for product research or purchases. Over half of consumers want to make a purchase within an hour of conducting research on their smartphone, and 93% of people who use mobile to research go on to complete a purchase of a product or service.

And even when they do not purchase through mobile, the mobile research influences their purchase on other devices or in physical stores, according to the Google’s studies above.

So, multi-device usage is growing in the personal environment and is changing the lives and behavioral patterns of the consumers, in all the steps of the decision process.

Reason 5: users connect anywhere/anytime

Consumers access the web everywhere (at home, on the go, in store, while commuting etc) and anytime, more and more using their mobile devices before and after office hours.

So, a mobile-friendly website can reach its audience everywhere and anytime they are connected.

Some UK stats from Our Mobile Planet by Google:smartphones-are-used-everywheregoogle-mobile-in-purchase-journey-when-where-smartphones-are-used

Reason 6: users expect mobile-friendly websites

66% of smartphone users expect sites to work as well on their mobile as on their desktop, according to The World Has Gone Multiscreen. You do not want to disappoint them.

What Users Want Most From Mobile Sites Today, a Google’s research on US adult smartphone Internet users in 2012, has interesting findings on the expectations of the users:

  • 75% of users prefer a mobile-friendly site
  • 74% of users are more likely to return to a mobile-friendly site in the future
  • 67% of users are more likely to buy from a mobile-friendly site
  • 61% of users quickly moves onto another site if they don’t find what they are looking for right away on a mobile site. If the website is not mobile-friendly, 79% of users abandon it straight away
  • 57% of users would not recommend a business with a bad mobile site
  • 52% of users with a bad mobile experience are less likely to engage with a company
  • 48% of users feel frustrated and annoyed when they get to a site that’s not mobile-friendly
  • 48% of users feels like the company doesn’t care about their business if their website is not mobile-friendly
  • 36% feel like they’ve wasted their time by visiting a not mobile-friendly site

Reason 7: Google wants it

Starting April 21 2015, Google is going to use mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. Google’s search results will be impacted globally.

The main objective of the announced algorithm updates is to display relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for mobile, to the users who are searching through mobile devices.

Sites that provide a mobile-friendly experience are going to be positively affected by the update, while website that are not mobile-friendly are going to be demoted.

Conclusions

Mobile is growing. Mobile is here. Mobile usage is skyrocketing.

People look at your site on a variety of devices. Even if the majority of your audience might be still using a desktop, they will be switching to a smartphone or tablet very soon.

Without a mobile-friendly site you are already losing the chance to be ranked and found, you are providing a bad user experience to the users who are increasingly accessing your website from mobile devices, you are missing consumers in their anytime-anywhere interaction/buying process, and you are driving users away to your competition.

A mobile-friendly website is a must-have. Making sure your site is mobile-friendly is now more important than ever.