Tactical Advice

Don’t Lose Customers Because Your Website Isn’t Ready for Mobile

As tablets and smartphones overtake PCs in shipment volume, businesses can’t afford to keep their heads stuck in the desktop sand.
Don’t Lose Customers Because Your Website Isn’t Mobile-Friendly
Credit: g-stockstudio/iStock/ThinkStockPhotos

Tablets are the fastest growing technology in history — so much so that they’re on pace to outsell PCs this holiday season. Analyst firm IDC has reported that worldwide shipments of tablets are likely to exceed that of PCs in the fourth quarter of 2013 as more consumers gravitate to a tablet’s easy accessibility.

This steady migration from PCs to mobile devices should signal a clear action for businesses: Make sure your content is mobile-ready.

No matter the size of your business, adaptive and responsive design is key for mobile web access. Responsive and adaptive designs mean an organization’s website is able to resize, scale and adjust to fit the screen size of a device. In other words, the website is legible and usable on a smartphone, a tablet and a desktop PC, without the use of a separate mobile site.

Why is a mobile-optimized experience important to your business? Because customers will bail if they visit your site on a mobile device and then struggle to interact with your company’s website.

In fact, Netbiscuits’ People’s Web Report has found that 76 percent of global users admitted to abandoning a website after a bad mobile experience. In other words, businesses that want to remain relevant need to develop a web strategy that accommodates a multitude of device preferences.

People across the world are accessing the web for a variety of online activities. Globally, tablets have seen a market increase of 65 percent in Q2 year-over-year this year and tablet users appear more engaged in a variety of brand activities, from reading the news and online shopping to gaming and watching TV.

The Case for Responsive Design

Businesses, whether big, medium or small, will find that incorporating responsive, adaptive design will not only help them connect with their consumers but also assist them in managing internal operations.

The organizational benefits will increase, because mobile developers progress faster in their own product development while promoting innovation in their field of expertise. Responsive, adaptive design will enable developers to focus on new functionality and spend less time and effort on maintenance, which in turn will minimize costs.

Companies that choose to operate on a CSS-driven system need to continually update that system, whereas adaptive design centralizes a company’s costs. Adaptive design will take factors such as faster image conversion, GPS and touch functionality to the next level.

The implementation of responsive, adaptive design will grant businesses golden results that include a cost-effective, optimized web experience and a streamlined testing, management and deployment methodology.

Here are some quick tips for businesses looking to use adaptive, responsive web design:

  • Identify the overall goals of the website and think about how these will change.
  • Ensure flexibility in the core design.
  • Optimize the input-interaction possibilities for users.
  • Consider user requirements in specific contexts.
  • Gain support for the project.
  • Commit to supporting the solution with releases and updates.
  • Provide technical consultations, methodology discussions and implementation assistance/training.

Responsive design will give your business the web experience and multiplatform edge that users are seeking. They’ll remain satisfied if they’re able to access the web from different devices, locations and levels of bandwidth for a variety of activities.

That’s why it’s critical to be mindful of the 76 percent of tablet users I mentioned before — the ones who admit to defecting to a competitor’s website after a poor web-browsing experience with another company; the ones you can’t afford to lose; the ones who relay their experiences to their friends who are the new users looking to purchase tablets this holiday season.

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About the Author

Daniel Weisbeck

Daniel Weisbeck is the CMO of Netbiscuits, an award-winning mobile-web software solution used by more than 15,000 professional web developers.

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