Smartphones, like the standard mobile phone and now the tablet, are here to stay – so businesses have to understand what mobile internet can do for them and, just as importantly, what they can do to make their websites and customer experiences more ‘mobile-web’ friendly.
Some experts in the US are predicting as much as half of all internet use will be through mobile devices and tablets within 18 months. For some businesses, mobile web users won’t just be a part of their customer base, they might be the largest part of their customer base.
Even though smartphones can display the full features of a web page, it’s a good idea to have a page that’s friendly to mobile phones with smaller screens and lacking the sophisticated operating systems or access to Wi-Fi networks like an iPhone or Android.
Pick one of the big shopping sites like www.amazon.co.uk or www.argos.co.uk and if you have a mobile device handy, click on it. You should automatically be directed to a mobile-friendly version of the site (there will be a link to take you back to the main site if that’s what you want).
Having a site that’s easy to navigate from a mobile or handheld gadget could make all the difference in your attempts to turn browsers into buyers…
Ask for a mobile-friendly site…Sounds simple but did you think to ask your developer or designer if it’s included in your website package? (It is with some BT web design and eCommerce products.) Designing mobile sites is different from conventional sites so if it is included,ask to see some working examples.
Test your site for mobile-web friendliness…There are lots of free test sites where you can position your site in a mock-up phone screen and see what it looks like before it goes live.
Less is more…Flash, colours and lots of text – basically bells and whistles – you don’t need them on mobile-friendly sites. They take too long to load, possibly use up a customer’s data allowance and, for busy people on the move, that’s a no-no. Keep it simple.
Don’t believe the type…Don’t give users too much to type. Use drop-down menus, condensed forms and multiple choice buttons. The less typing there is, the more likely the customer is to come back or buy right away.
Get your website mobile-friendly and make sure you’re smart enough to make the most of smartphones and internet on the go.