Mobile commerce is the fastest growing online trend. You don’t have to look very far before you see someone using a mobile device in public. According to Kleiner Perkins Caulfield Byers (KPCB) 2013 Internet Trends report, mobile traffic as a percentage of global Internet traffic is growing at rate of 1.5 times per year and is expected to maintain that rate or accelerate. As of May 2013, mobile traffic made up 15 percent of global Internet traffic. While it may not seem significant, this is a massive and growing portion of the online marketplace, especially when you consider that in 2009, it was only at 0.9 percent.
Mobile users are increasingly using their devices to complete online transactions. For example, Groupon saw a massive increase in mobile users. In 2009, approximately 15 percent of transactions were completed on a mobile device. Today, 45 percent of Groupon transactions are made on mobile devices.
What does this mean for your business? It means your website needs to be optimized for mobile users. Standard websites do not perform well on mobile devices. The content is difficult to read and navigation is nearly impossible. Mobile users often don’t return to websites where they have experienced performance issues.
In order to optimize your website for mobile devices, you need to consider a mobile specific design. Because the types of mobile devices on the market are so diverse, your best option is to use a responsive web design. Responsive web design adapts to the screen size of any device and provides users with an optimal experience regardless of whether they are on their desktop, laptop tablet or smartphone.
The incredible growth of mobile has caught many business owners by surprise. Many business websites still lack a mobile specific design. In order to get ahead of your competitors and provide your expanding base of mobile users with a positive experience, you’ll want to work with your website designer to develop a responsive design for your website. A responsive design will create a powerful web presence for your business that extends your brand across platforms.
While it may be tempting to develop an app for your business, apps are generally platform specific and will leave a lot of your mobile users to deal with your standard website. Therefore, it’s best to create a responsive website and then branch out to platform specific apps to create a special experience for a certain set of your users.
For example, you might develop an app for iOS users that allows them to easily create shopping lists, locate your stores, take advantage of loyalty programs or easily shop from their mobile devices. However, mobile apps should be an extra. First, you need to create a seamless responsive website design that addresses the specific needs of mobile users and performs flawlessly on any device your customers choose to use.