Make 2013 the Year Your Brand Goes Mobile

Tue, January 22, 2013

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions for your brand? With 2013 predicted to be the year that more people access the internet via mobile devices than a PC, it’s fair to say that if your site isn’t mobile optimized yet, now is the time to do it.

How often has this happened to you? You’re out and about when you think of something you meant to look up. So you grab your phone, do a quick search, and click one of the listings in the search results. But the display is so bad that you back out and go to a different site instead. And then you discover one that’s been optimized for mobile devices. Now that’s the site you’ll start with next time. Forget the other guys—even if they used to be your favorite provider.

That’s the thing. If you, as a brand manager, are the “other guys” in this scenario, you want to think that the people who buy your goods or services love you for you, and won’t switch brands just because of a bad mobile experience.

But they will.

Because a bad mobile experience is a bad brand experience. And a bad brand experience damages your reputation and gives your competition an opportunity to move in.

But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what the numbers say. Our good friends at Google recently conducted a study of U.S. adult smartphone users, resulting in the following startling statistics:

  • 50% of people say that even if they like a business they will use them less often if the site isn’t mobile friendly
  • 61% of people say they “quickly” move onto another site if they don’t find what they are looking for on a mobile site
  • 79% of people who don’t like what they find on one site will go back and search for another site
  • 48% of people say they are annoyed and frustrated when they visit a non-mobile friendly site
  • 48% of people say that if a site didn’t work well on their smartphone, it made them feel like the company didn’t care about their business

Ouch! But here’s the good news. Mobile friendly sites are still in their relative infancy, which means you still have an opportunity to get out in front. The earlier you optimize your site for mobile, the further ahead you’ll stay of your competition and the more likely you’ll keep your valuable customers. Because the Google study also show that:

  • 67% of users are more likely to buy from a mobile friendly site
  • 74% of visitors to a mobile-friendly website say they are more likely to return to that site in the future

In other words, a website that’s easy to navigate on mobile devices is like a physical store with bright lights, well-organized shelves and friendly customer service people. Your customers will come back having enjoyed a positive experience.

So how do you optimize your site for mobile? Start with this great post on responsive web design by my colleagues Dave Rodriguez and Charles Ryder. Browse some of your favorite mobile sites and take some notes. And then ask your digital agency for a proposal; if you don’t have one, contact us.

Don’t let the idea of your customers getting friendly with your competition’s mobile site keep you up at night. Resolve to make 2013 the year your brand goes mobile.