You can’t ignore the need for a mobile responsive website any longer!

The incredible growth in the ownership of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets has seen a corresponding jump in the use those devices to access websites for information gathering and shopping. Today’s internet users grab the first device at hand to surf the web and research products and services before making their purchase. That means you need a mobile friendly website.

A browse through the statistics of most websites can see as much as 50% of visits, depending on the industry, coming from mobile device browsers, not a market segment that can be ignored.

So what is a mobile responsive website?

By default the web browsers on most mobile devices will automatically shrink the size of a non-responsive website so that the site displays exactly as it would on a large computer monitor. The downside to that is that on a small screen such as a smart phone the material can be so small that it is unreadable unless the user zooms in, hardly a good user experience.

A mobile responsive website will adapt the layout of your website content to suit the size of the screen in use. That means some things may be hidden or collapsed, as in the case of menus, other material stacked vertically so that there is no horizontal scrolling, and text resized or maintained at easily readable sizes. These formatting changes mean that the user should find a website viewed on a mobile device just as functional as one viewed on a desktop computer.

Why do I need one?

If you are relying on a website built only for desktop viewing you are missing a large potential market in the mobile user crowd. Having potential customers frustrated and impatient at trying to navigate their way through a site designed for desktop-only is a sure way to exclude your business from the user’s consideration and ensure they probably won’t come back.

Time poor shoppers that still prefer to purchase at a bricks and mortar retail outlet will quite often have made their decision prior to arriving based on information obtained online while sitting on a train, waiting for a bus or as a passenger in a car and while using a phone or tablet.

Online (and even in-store shoppers) take advantage of their mobile devices by sending photos and prices to the key decision makers, friends and family influencing the purchasing process. Making this an easy task via a mobile responsive website will ensure that you are in the mix when a decision is made.

Impulse Purchasing

If you trade in area where impulse purchasing is common then satisfying that impulse by allowing customers easy access to your wares through a mobile responsive website is a given. With competition online fierce, businesses need to take the opportunity to allow shoppers every chance to “buy now” rather than seeing them browse to a competitor’s website where the mobile user is welcomed with open arms.

With internet use from mobile devices increasing exponentially website owners can’t avoid providing a more satisfying user experience by catering for such a growing segment of their audience.

Update: 20/4/2015

Google has announced that as from the 21st April, 2015 they will be “expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal”.