GOING-MOBILE
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It's a case of 'When?' not 'If!'

We only need to look around us in any public place to realise just how much of an impact mobile devices and smartphones have in our day to day lives. You would be hard pushed to avoid the marketing frenzy that precedes the launch of the latest smartphone from manufacturers such as Apple or Samsung.  Lets look at the recent launch of the Apple, the Apple Watch, few people actually grasp the concept behind the device, and for many the need for such an item, but apple reports Sales of “other” products hit $2.64bn (£1.69bn) in quarter three. A jump of $952m (£609m) on the previous quarter. According to Luca Maestri, Apple’s chief financial officer  more than 100 percent of that increase came from the Apple Watch. If the average price of an Apple Watch is $499 (£319), as estimated by Bloomberg, that would suggest that Apple has sold around 1.9 million units during its third financial quarter.  During the 2nd quarter of 2015 a reported 320 million smartphones were sold worldwide (Insight @Canalys) now that is a truly staggering set of figures and a simple one that highlights the total saturation mobile devices have within the market.

The question you should be asking as a business is not if you need to make your online presence accessible to mobile devices, but when. Having said that there are still many things to consider. Your business type and target audience will dictate just how essential a mobile friendly site is. For example restaurants are the most searched industry by consumers through both mobile applications and browsers, according to a new study from SinglePlatform at Constant Contact and research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey. With 81 percent of consumers having searched for a restaurant on a mobile app in the last six months and a further 70 percent of consumers think it is important to be able to read the menu of a restaurant on a mobile device. This behaviour is not unique to the food services industry in fact it is echoed throughout many business types and especially in the case of local businesses.

When monitoring the launch of new sites we have seen a massive increase of smartphone and tablet users visiting the sites during early mornings (7am to 10am)  and evenings (6pm to 12pm) their usage is even more prevalent. Desktop and laptop devices still at present account for over half of the total viewing figures with the greatest viewing time during working hour (9am to 6pm) continuing on to the evening (6pm to 8pm).  However finding two set of statistics that match seems to be an almost impossible task but what is blatantly obvious is that the amount of consumers actively browsing the web on mobile devices is a major factor and one that simply should not be ignored.

So put simply can you really afford not to have a mobile accessible site.

In our next few articles we will look at social media and the impact it can have on your business and utilising many of the review sites to build awareness and customer confidence in your brand.

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