Mobile traffic currently accounts for about 10% of global Internet traffic at any given moment, according to Mashable. In a separate study, Gartner reported that by 2014, people will use mobile devices more than PCs.
And what are people doing while surfing the web on their mobile devices? Buying!
In 2012, purchases made on mobile devices totaled $6.7 billion – that’s billion with a “B” – and topped $11.6 billion in 2014 and $31 billion by 2015.
Sadly, businesses have been slow to respond to this staggering shift in consumer buying patterns. According to Jesse Haines, group manager for Google Mobile Ads, only 21% of all major advertisers had mobile-friendly sites.
Although 66% of the top retail brands in fashion, hospitality, jewelry and other areas had mobile sites, one-third of those websites did not allow consumers to actually buy their products from their sites.
The Astonishing Power of Mobile Websites
Those statistics are staggering. Especially when you consider that mobile websites are the easiest, fastest and most popular ways for your customers to interact with your business.
Mobile websites make it easy for the increasingly mobile consumer to make purchases. Nearly all shoppers polled by Google said they are more likely to buy a product or service if the website is optimized for mobile. And 75% said that they would be much more likely to return if they have a positive experience on your mobile website.
Impact on Brick and Mortar Businesses
It shouldn’t be surprising that when people are on the go, they prefer to spend their money at businesses that are nearby, rather than driving halfway across town. That’s one of the reasons 65% of people said they used their mobile device to find a nearby business to make an in-store purchase, according to Google.
This is especially critical for brick and mortar businesses that depend on local traffic for their livelihood, such as restaurants and retail stores.
Half of all people using mobile websites said they also use a GPS, Google Maps or another mapping site to find a nearby retail location, according to Nielsen. And 44% said they have accessed the mobile website of retailers they usually shop.
Mobile searches for restaurants have a conversion rate of 90%, with 64% converting with the first hour after conducting their search for a restaurant’s mobile website, according to xAD and Telemetrics.
The Power of Mobile Searches
The trend toward mobility is global, not local. While about 8% of all web searches done in the US are conducted from mobile devices, in Africa that figure is nearly 15% and in Asia mobile searches have increased 192.5% since 2012, according to Pingdom.
Locally, about half of all local searches are performed on mobile devices, Microsoft Tag reported. And when you mention a location in a mobile ad, search result rates increase up to 200%, according to ThinkNear.
Social Media and Your Online Business
Optimizing your Internet marketing website for use by mobile devices allows your business to tap into one of the fastest-growing and highly-targetable markets in the history of business: Social media.
Apps like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others allow businesses to get their messages in front of exactly the type of consumers who are most likely to buy the types of products they offer. But when these high-converting mobile customers are directed to a website that is not mobile-friendly, 60% will leave without doing anything, according to Google.
While some pundits have announced the death of email, somebody needs to tell people using mobile devices. That’s because about 25% of all people using mobile devices use them to read their emails, according to Return Path. This is especially true for iPad users, who have shown a 73% in the number of emails opened on those popular mobile devices.
That’s significant because it means your mobile website should be fully integrated with email and offer such functionality as capturing email addresses, automatically responding to email requests and offering consumers pathways to your business via their email inbox.