Did you ever Google a recipe while standing in the supermarket? Or use your mobile to search for a nearby lunch spot while in the city? And then get directed to a website that isn’t optimised for mobile, making it difficult to navigate so you give up and search again?
Mobile sites aid customers on their smartphone and can turn that browsing into buying.
A mobile website is a specially-designed, slimmed-down version of your full website, optimised for viewing on the smaller screen of a smartphone or other mobile device.
On the other hand, an information “app” is an application that retrieves data in real-time from the internet. Compared with mobile web browsing, it controls what can be searched for, what parts of the internet are searched, and the way information is then displayed.
Google’s May 2013 Think Insights survey revealed many important trends for mobile sites.
Shoppers are always online
Smartphone owners are using their phones before and during shopping trips to do research, compare products and search for discounts and deals. Also polling company Pew, in a report on in-store mobile commerce, found that 72 per cent of smartphone owners were using their devices to aid their shopping while in physical stores.
Shoppers use the mobile web over the regular one
The Google survey found that researching on a home computer, even before a trip, is not as widespread. Almost half of smartphone owners skipped it.
Shoppers use mobile sites over apps
Shoppers prefer mobile browsing to using apps because using multiple tabs in a smartphone browser is easier and quicker than opening, closing and re-opening various apps when comparing products, locations and deals.
Mobile sites get customers onsite
The Google survey reported that half of smartphone users will end up in a store after visiting its mobile site.
How do you maximise your mobile site?
- Put opening hours and promotions front and centre on your site
- Add interactive location information by integrating a map application
- Add “click to call” to your phone number. That is, your number is displayed as a link users can click that will automatically make their phone call your store
- Add search-engine optimisation features. Your mobile site has to come high in search hits, just the same as your regular website
- Make sure your site works well and displays well on as many different mobile device as possible. Consider ditching fancier functions if they prevent your site from functioning on simpler handsets