Mobile devices are essential to the daily life of most people on the planet Earth. And with the help of wireless technology, we have enjoyed watching mobile's scope and capabilities broaden. We went from using our phones rarely to text, to using them to check our email, stream new music, share media, chat on all kinds of social media apps, do our banking, invest and purchase real estate.
That surge in mobile business means that it's crucial for businesses to offer a mobile application for their services, whether you have an enterprise social media management tool for them to purchase or a soup and sandwich lunch deal they can order.
It's 2017 and mobile usage has already out-performed desktop usage. 1.7 billion people use a mobile device to get online. What that means is that of all the people on your website right now, you can bet a good number of them, if not a majority, are accessing it from a mobile device. And if that's not enough of a reason to optimize your current web application for mobile, then we have another 10 reasons for you.
What does a mobile-optimized web app look like?
- It loads in about three seconds
- The content is easy to read without zooming in or out.
- The navigation buttons are are visible and work.
- The content falls on the page in a natural and logical way.
- The user experience closely mimics that of the website.
- The app is pleasant to use—the most important thing.
1. It's your chance to create a superior UX
Smartphone users are not the exception, and they demand to be recognized when they come to use your web app. To recognize them as valued visitors means to make the web app experience on a mobile phone just as attractive as the website experience. And it doesn't take much time, effort or cost to make mobile optimized web apps that look great.
The hard truth is that consumers will choose the more attractive and better-optimized option because they see that as a better chance of having a better buying experience. That's why you should honor your customers by giving them a mobile optimized web application that they don't need to struggle with—pinch, expand, etc.—to get it to fit on their screen.
2. Mobile is where your customers are
One quarter of global web searches are conducted on a mobile device by over one billion mobile users world-wide. If you are hoping to cast the widest net in your market, engaging mobile users is essential. As you'll read below, mobile users have a different way of doing things, but they are open to using their mobile to make purchases and interact with the companies they love. If your aim is to business is to take advantage of growing number of frequent purchases made by mobile users, you'll need to show them an app that has mobile users in mind.
3. Mobile customers tell a different story
Mobile users behave inherently different when they are using applications. Among the differences, mobile users:
- Consume more visual media than desktop users
- Use social media apps and sites that deliver visual media far more often on mobile devices than they will visit them on a desktop
- Use mobile-optimized apps while they commute, watch TV or while they are using another web-enabled device
- Prefer quick, easily digestible pieces of information or data
- Impulse buy from their mobile phones more often than they would from a desktop or even in their physical life
- If your web app is not optimized to take advantage of these eager consumers, then you are leaving some easy money on the table
4. Your mobile customers make more purchases
Mobile users do buy more, it's a fact. But not all mobile users are created equal, because it's the tablet users that do the heavy purchasing.
According to Adobe Digital Marketing Insights, tablet owners...
- Spend over 50% more per purchase using mobile apps than those using the apps on their smartphone
- Spend 20% more than consumers using desktops and laptops
- Are three times more likely to purchase products and services online than smartphone visitors
- Make a purchase from their recent local search 86% of the time
The bottom line: your customers are on their tablets specifically to make a purchase. Make sure the process is foolproof across all of these devices.
5. It gets you more screen time
Most people use multiple devices to gather information until they have made a decision or purchase they have been meaning to make.
What that means for you is even if most of your purchases and conversions are made via desktop devices, the decision was made over time using a mobile device. Have you ever tracked the prices of an auction over time all your devices? Or, have you gotten advice from friends and family via your smartphone before you made a purchase? That's what this point refers to.
Your job is to make the experience across all of the screens your customers use as equal and seamless as possible, so they can return again and again until they finally head to the checkout.
6. They convert
What we know for sure is that your landing pages need to be optimized differently for both mobile and desktop users. While some basic principles remain the same, the mobile platform can't handle all of the principles of design and functionality that work on a desktop screen.
Conversion-friendly apps contain the following design features:
- CTA buttons sized for tapping
- Speedy loading and buffering
- Limit headlines to 5 words
- Flat design
7. Google prefers it
In 2015, mobile optimization started to weigh in heavily on how websites ranked among Google's organic search. So much so that it was named "mobile-geddon". It created some waves, like the penalties for web applications that fail to be mobile-friendly, but the changes weren't quite as bombastic as some people thought it might be. The point is, if you want to get the attention of new customers who are using Google—like, everyone—then you'd better have a mobile-optimized site by the time Google's spiders crawl your way.
8. It complements your mobile marketing
A significant amount of mobile web use is geared toward social media. If any of your marketing is mobile-centric then you'd better have a mobile-optimized app for your marketing to point toward. This is a great chance for you to enable mobile-only discounts and packages. Don't waste your mobile marketing dollars by pushing all kinds of marketing content out there and then providing your visitors with an inhospitable mobile experience.
9. Make your brand stand out
This is your chance to stand out from the competition by delivering an efficient, engaging and beautiful mobile application experience. Do most of your competitors have sites that are not optimized? Get a head up on them by launching a site or app that looks and works beautifully on all mobile devices. It's all in what you do to keep your app fresh that will keep your loyal fans and new customers coming back for more.
10. Reach customers with mobile advertising
Americans spend 24% of their day on their mobile devices, yet mobile advertising still represents only 8% of digital ad spend. But this technology won't go underutilized forever. You can expect most of your competition to be caught up within the next 18 months: the sector will reach $42 billion.
Don't you hate it when you are browsing on your portable device and a website's content looks disorganized acts dysfunctional because it is not optimized for mobile viewing? The days of "pinching" and "squeezing" web content so that it fits on our portable screens are long gone. So, why are we still tolerating this level of app production? You want to keep your customers using your app, not repel them away from you because they don't take you or your app seriously. Optimizing your app will make you a more attractive and an easier company to deal with. To succeed in this mobile age, you should optimize your web application for mobile by implementing a responsive web design.