Unless you’ve been completely out to lunch, no doubt you’ve seen the stats on the growing influence of mobility. Consider these numbers from Visual.ly:
* Mobile search has grown five times in the past two years
* 3 out of every 5 searches are conducted on a mobile device
* 52% of all local searches are done on a mobile phone
* Nine out of 10 mobile searches end in a purchase
These trends are pretty staggering if you stop to think about it. In fact, for some time now it’s been well acknowledged that the impact of mobile on business will be as significant as the early days of the Internet. There’s even a term that has emerged recently to describe this ever growing influence. Called the mobile web or mobile internet, the phenomenon refers to any type of access to the world wide web from a handheld mobile device, such as a smartphone or a feature phone, connected to a mobile network or other wireless network.
Stop to consider that 2013 was the first time in the nearly 2 decades of the world wide web that more mobile devices were accessed via the internet than PCs. Correspondingly, PC sales have plummeted in recent years, and are expected to continue to decline 6.6% in 2014, while tablet sales, for instance, will rise 38.6%. This new reality suggests that we’ve entered an era unthinkable just a few years ago in which mobile is now the “new PC.” The total number of smartphones in use globally surpassed 1billion in Q3 of 2012 and is expected to reach 1.75 billion in 2014.
Chances are good that if you’re reading this article you’re also juggling between different mobile devices in your day to day activities at both home and work. You may start your day checking emails on your iPad Mini, grab your iPhone for the commute to work, and then interact in the office with a tablet or company issued Android device. BYOD is a given for the digital workplace today and those companies that aren’t on board with the latest mobile trends will lose market competition.
The importance that your business be properly aligned with the mobile web cannot be over-emphasized. In fact, it’s every bit as important, and possible more, than having a social media presence was considered about 5-7 years ago. This writer fairly well sums up the latest trends:
Look, we live in a world where mobile is taking over (or has taken over.) More and more, people are using smartphones and tablets as their main access point for the Web, and that means that sites that are not optimized for mobile devices have a problem. If your site is a disorganized mess when someone tries to pull it up on their phone, chances are you are going to lose a potential customer pretty quickly.
So the main question every business owner/leader needs to ask themselves is, “How is my business leveraging the mobile web?” There are no easy answers since the conventional wisdom is changing so fast. Until last week (obviously “tongue-in-cheek” for this fast paced change, but you get the point) it was thought that responsive web was the be-all and end-all solution meant to address the massive growth in mobile commerce. But we now know that responsive web is not enough!
The paradigm has shifted because mobile optimizations can no longer be considered a “Band-Aid” solution or add-on. Responsive web usually is still undertaken in relation to the traditional website. But this is the wrong frame of reference! Instead, mobility must be considered on its own terms and as a stand-alone solution; the differences in approach are significant:
* Mobile web development vs. responsive web design
* Mobile analytics vs. desktop analytics with built in mobile features
* Mobile marketing vs. social media marketing with mobile add-ons
We’re just warming up to our subject! In the rest of this series we will unpack exactly what the mobile internet phenomenon means for your business and how you can get onboard the latest trends to ensure your technology infrastructure, revenue projections, and other KPIs are all mobile enabled.