The first week of 2012 has proven beneficial for mobile. There were a few reports that indicated that mobile won’t just be big in 2012, it’s already growing rapidly. But rapid growth has also identified many ways companies are unprepared to leverage mobile to improve online conversion.
More Mobile Web Usage, Less Site Optimization
According to the latest RedEye and Econsultancy Conversion Rate Optimization Report 2011, based on a survey of more than 700 client-side and agency digital marketers, mobile should play a key role in retaining customers online. While we once worried that the rapid growth of mobile Internet usage was for reading only, it’s now clear that mobile can help improve online conversion rates.
Why’s that? Because most smartphone users access websites and 33% make purchases on it. However, companies aren’t making it easy for them — more than 70% of companies have not yet optimized their websites for mobile. And more than 8 in 10 are not designing marketing emails for mobile.
Focus on the Mobile App, Not the Mobile Web
If companies are struggling to keep up with changing mobile behaviors, it isn’t because of a lack of information. Rather it’s that the information is often contradictory. Just as Econsultancy reports that mobile web usage can increase conversion rates, Luis Hernandez, senior vice president and director of marketing technology for Wunderman, has outlined an effective argument for why mobile “apps have become so successful that they’re moving us away from the web in general.” Among his reasons, ease of use and a personalized content curation experience are prominent. Hernandez says
Many sites could take advantage of users visiting via mobile device to optimize their experience. Instead, you should drive them to download apps that provide a specific or focused subset of content and functionality. Focus on creating a controlled and curated environment for experiencing content."
Best Mobile Practice? Apps & Websites
To complicate things further, another Econsultancy report shows that almost a third of UK consumers have made a purchase using a mobile website in the last twelve months, and 26% have done so using a mobile app. Even more significant is that 25% of online consumers said they would try a competitor if the mobile website was not working, while 64% said they’d only give a mobile website an average of three chances to work before moving on.
While this might be just the kickstart companies need to choose to optimize their mobile website or develop a native app, chances are it will delay their decisions while they wait for consumers to make up their minds. Unfortunately as they wait, the further behind the mobile trends they get, costing them more than just online conversions.