These days, we use our phones for pretty much everything.
Whereas once a smartphone was considered a luxury item, now it is an everyday essential. You might not be surprised to hear that mobile usage is still steadily rising, but did you know…
- We check our smartphone 150 times per day.
- On average, we spend nearly 3 hours a day looking at a mobile screen.
- Over half of all emails are now opened on a mobile device.
- 57% of the time we use a smartphone, we use it in conjunction with another device.
Even Google announced, over a year ago, that their algorithm would favour websites with improved mobile compatibility. This results in higher rankings for sites that are optimised for mobile.
How are people using mobile technology?
Global think-tank Nielson reported in 2015 that smartphone usage spans all age brackets. The question we need to ask ourselves is not ‘Who is using mobile?’, but ‘How are we using mobile?’
- 50% smartphone users have made a purchase via mobile. (Prosper mobile insights)
- 73% of smartphone users prefer to use mobile web to purchase rather than an app. (JumpTap.com)
- On average consumers use two devices to complete a purchase. (Banana-splash)
The data highlights a clear trend: people are using their mobiles to buy more, but also to research products before they make a purchase on another device. Multi-device optimisation is something all brands need to get to grips with if they are to stay competitive in the near future.
3G and 4G connections make it possible for users to access high-speed internet anywhere at any time, on multiple devices. It’s incredibly important that visitors have the best possible experience of your brand across all devices.
Businesses need to stop thinking of mobile and some tablets as miniature versions of their desktop websites. Users interact with sites very differently on mobile than they do with desktop, which means more thought needs to go into how people browse on mobile and what they want to do.
Even more than this, mobile and desktop have significant differences in size and ability, including:
- Less ‘above the fold’ space – On average, a mobile has 100 pixels, whereas desktop has 400 pixels.
- Touch screens – The way users physically interact with a web page is different. While users typically engage desktop by using a keyboard and a mouse, smartphone browsing is likely to be done on a touchscreen.
- Screens rotate – Desktop screens are always in landscape; smartphone screens can rotate from landscape to portrait.
- On the Go – Mobile users tend be distracted more easily when commuting, socialising or watching TV, so designers have to work harder to hold their attention. This makes good UX and UI crucial.
Making a start
Google Analytics can tell you a lot about how your site performs on mobile. There are a few key bits of info you can mine to create your mobile story:
- Landing Pages – Where do mobile users enter your site? Does it differ to those on desktop? Concentrate on getting these pages optimised first.
- Exit Pages – Where are mobile users leaving your site? Can you spot any obvious reasons why? Spend some time looking at these pages and interacting with them on mobile – make some changes and test the impact.
- Mobile Device Reports – These can be used to highlight specific issues devices/operating systems – you may find that Android users have a higher bounce and/or exit rate on certain pages – perform cross-device tests on those pages and make sure they work across all major devices that your users access your site with.
- Funnel & Goal Creation – Set up mobile funnels and goals, such as your shopping cart or a ‘thank you’ page. Track how far users get and how many goals complete. Work backwards to understand if any pages are under-performing and require attention.
The idea that businesses have to get a better understanding of their mobile traffic in years to come is a short-sighted one. Businesses need to understand their mobile traffic now.
Remember that people using mobile devices have different search and conversion patterns. Helping mobile users complete your funnel, and understanding the difference between a desktop and mobile user, are vital considerations for any company looking to increase their rate of conversions.