I believe that consumers have crossed the mobile friendly website rubicon and left most businesses stranded on the far bank.
If you have been following our Digital Insights blog you will see that the topic of being mobile friendly is a drum that we keep banging on:
- Is your website mobile friendly?
- Mobile friendly website case study
- Online advertising essentials for small businesses
- South African web design trend predictions: 2018
- Web design tips for beginners to use
- Effective website homepage design tips
- Principles for designing a user-friendly experience
Yet, however much we talk about building a mobile friendly website, I can only remember one of our clients using their phone, not a computer or tablet, to test a website in a meeting. In short, having a mobile friendly website does not appear to be a priority for most businesses.
This is now a real point of concern.
As part of my master’s thesis research, I have been interviewing consumers about their online research behaviours. One of the questions that I have been asking is, “What do you feel about brands or stores that do not have a mobile friendly website?” Here are some answers from people in the real world:
- I’m less likely to use them again.
- Frustrated. I will probably stay on the site for two minutes and then get off. Especially if you are on your phone and you have to zoom in on specific sections and then zoom out. It will deter me very quickly.
- I feel like they are not professional enough to buy from.
- I am not interested.
- They irritate me. I will probably be less inclined to use it.
- I get very frustrated. If it is a product that I really, really want then maybe I will go onto the desktop version at a later stage. But if I am irritated then I will not go back. Or maybe I will see if another website stocks the product.
The context to these answers is key and was alluded to in some of the above answers. To quote Ronan Harris, the MD of Google UK and Ireland, “Everything starts with a search.” And where do people go when they want to make a search? Their phone. Regardless of where people are or what they are doing, the one thing that they have on them is their phone. So to give the above answers context, people are searching for websites on their phones to provide them with information, online shopping and a host of other things. One of the consumers that I interviewed sums it up very nicely:
“It must work on my phone. I very rarely search on a computer. I am not going to have a bad experience on my phone and then want to go view that website on my computer – your product would have to be amazing for me to do that. Most likely, you would have lost me.”
Bringing it all together – if your website is not mobile friendly then you are losing your customers online. Regardless of whether you are looking for sales, leads or to distribute content, your customers are simply not interested if your website does not work on their phone. If you are spending your marketing budget on driving traffic to your website, not only are you wasting your budget, but you could very possibly be damaging your brand and driving potential customers to your competitors. It is that serious.
Mobile friendly is no longer a nice to have for a brand with an online presence. It is now a must have. I would go so far as to say that it would be better to have no website than a website that is not mobile friendly.
If you are not sure where to start, try have a look at your website on your phone. You can also check the mobile friendliness of your website here. We are also here to help, so give us a call or fill out a contact form and we will be happy to assist you with your website’s mobile friendly journey.