The growth of mobile and what it means for your business
For the first time in the history of the internet, more users around the world are accessing the internet from mobile devices than from desktop computers. This comes in the latest study by StatCounter that found that in October of 2016 51.3% of internet usage worldwide in October compared to 48.7% by desktop.
This hardly should come as a surprise, as in many developing countries internet access is almost strictly mobile internet access. Here’s India for example:
But even here in the US, mobile is clearly capturing a growing share of consumer screen time, as well as shopping time. For example, here’s a screenshot from one of my e-commerce clients, showing their desktop and mobile traffic over the last two years:
As you can see in the above example – mobile has overtaken desktop for the better part of 2016, making this new study hardly a surprise.
What this means for business owners
A non mobile-friendly website is a deal breaker
- Beyond the usability issue, Google have been very transparent about prioritizing mobile friendly websites and even offer a free tool small businesses can use to test their website’s mobile friendliness.
Context is key
- Are mobile visitors interacting with your website differently than desktop? A couple examples:
- A restaurant may find that mobile visitors are primarily interested in address and phone number vs. desktop visitors who are primarily interested in the menu or events.
- A B2B SAAS business may find that mobile visitors are interested in the “About Us”section and the blog, vs. desktop visitors who may be looking to schedule a demo or download a PDF…
- Once you understand the context of these visits, you can prioritize your website accordingly for mobile vs. desktop traffic in a way that maximizes the value for each visit.
What’s your mobile “activation” event?
- Truth is, consumers still aren’t utilizing mobile to purchase to the extent they’re using desktop. Maybe its trust. Maybe it’s that your product is more tailored for a larger screen. If less mobile visitors are purchasing from you, ask yourself why and try to correct it. Consider secondary conversion events such as Social interactions (likes, follows…) or email signups – as these interactions will allow you to continue building a relationship with prospects down the road.
- Would a dedicated mobile app provide a better user experience?
- Amazon and Domino’s mobile apps are textbook examples of companies who have been consistently growing their market share by growing and capitalizing their mobile traffic.
How does this affect your marketing initiatives?
- Are you running mobile-specific campaigns? Is your AdWords campaign using Google’s new expanded text ads? Are your mobile bids different than your desktop bids? Are you running campaigns on channels such as Facebook or Instagram?
Humans are a mobile species, and a big part of mobile tech’s growing dominance can be attributed to accessibility and seamless integration it has with our mobile lifestyle.
The fact is, consumers are evolving with the tech they are being provided. Businesses that won’t embrace this perpetually-morphing landscape will simply be left behind.