In 2014, it became official—there are more smartphones than there are humans on earth. It’s also the year when more Americans began using mobile devices than desktops. Finally, it’s the year when the majority of Americans report that they at least research products and services on their smartphones before making a final decision and purchase (regardless of whether that final purchase is in store or online).
In other words, it’s a mobile world. Unfortunately, there’s a disparity between that fact and many small businesses. Most small businesses still don’t have a website, let alone one that’s mobile ready. However, that lack of an online presence might just be the entrepreneur’s undoing. Mobile readiness is no longer just a good idea—it’s a necessity. Notice the big companies have even rolled out mobile apps.
Here are a few ways to get mobile ready before 2015 rolls around and you’re left in the dust for good:
One of the most common ways to embrace mobile readiness is to have a mobile version of your website created. You’ve probably noticed these on bank websites. Sometimes a mobile device is detected and a website naturally re-routes to the mobile version. Other times you’ll be asked if you prefer the mobile or web version.
A mobile website isn’t for everyone, but it’s a good idea if you have a lot of necessary information on your site. It makes the layout cleaner, simpler and more user friendly. I would recommend testing everything.
Again, an app isn’t for every business and every website. However, it’s the other half of “mobile readiness” and is worth your consideration. If you’re not sure your business would benefit, ask for feedback. Take a poll on your social media page or get a focus group’s opinion.
An app can be a great way to keep your audience engaged, provide information, and lure in new clients. However, it can also be a waste of time and money if you don’t do your research first.
Mobile readiness is part of responsive design, but it’s a beast in its own right. It’s “simply” the act of designing a website so that it responds regardless of platform or browser. You might think your site looks gorgeous on your Lenovo laptop in Chrome. However, your client on a lumbering old desktop using Firefox might see things differently.
A good web designer tests for responsive design regularly and ensures your site loads quickly and looks great under any circumstances.
You already know most of your customers are on mobile devices, and unfortunately they may not be very loyal. Studies have shown that people won’t wait a blink of an eye longer than they deem appropriate before back clicking from your website. Worse, most sites load slower on a mobile device compared to a desktop. You have a slim window to make sure your small business gets up to speed (literally), so make the most of it. Mobile readiness is here. Are you ready?