Mobile websites: Over-rated or opportunity?

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Given the recent statistic that 75% Smartphone users are now making purchases via their smartphones, did you know that only 17% companies have mobile-optimised websites?

17%. That includes the big player’s right through to the one-man bands, so what’s taking them so long to realise the opportunity they are missing out on?

Hannah Mattinson, Marketing Manager at Urban River ponders why…

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This is just a phase, it’s a fad, it’s overrated, etc. We know it’s hard to figure out the gold-dust from the bull, especially when every new marketing/technology article claims to contain ‘The Next Big Thing’ – well this actually is. And it is here to stay. And in the time it’s taken everyone to wake up to the importance of mobile websites, a whole new platform has emerged; the tablet! Although the screen is bigger therefore permitting main websites to be viewed, sometimes the basic info is all customers need so a mobile-site is still applicable and should be optimised for this handset.

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Oh no! We’ve just spent all this money on developing our website into an all singing-all dancing interactive arm of our sales team – and now we’re told it needs to be ‘simple’ and not feature many options!

Fear not, the actual main body of the site doesn’t need to be changed. As long as you inform your mobile website developer which links or pages of your site are most popular, these can be the focal point of your site and visitors will always have the option to view the original website as well.

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Too much effort?

Now you’ve got used to updating your Company News, Facebook and Twitter once in a while, will a mobile website just create unnecessary work for you?

Updating your mobile site is as easy as updating your main website as any new or edited content from your main site is added automatically, but at any time if your visitor priorities change, let your web developer know so we can make the mobile site user-friendly again.

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The reality

Don’t be put off by fear, presumptions of mobile websites being a ‘fad’ or too requiring too much effort.

Every website is different; therefore every user experience needs to be treated with care, as your customers do. If you know which pages the majority of you customers go to (using Google Analytics for example), it will be a lot easier to create your site. If you own a restaurant and you know most website visitors click to your menu and opening times, then these shall be the main click options of your mobile site. It’s as simple as that.

And don’t forget: allowing customers to buy from your site is also an option; this is called m-commerce.

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