Many businesses still do not have a mobile optimized website. Having said that, a mobile optimized website is more important for certain types of businesses. Which types of businesses?
First, let’s look at the different types of Internet activities people do on their smartphones. Activities like email usage, social networking, playing games, maps and music have been excluded because smartphone users prefer to use apps for this.
#1 Most Important Activity – Look for a local business or service – 94%
With nearly all smartphone users looking for local businesses or services, it’s the most popular Internet activity performed. According to Google, 1 in 3 searches on a smartphone have local intent.
“Local intent” means Google believes the searcher’s intentions are to make a purchase offline. Take for example a search for “florist”, which implies the person will drive to the business and purchase flowers. This would be local intent, even though the search term didn’t include a geographic constraint like “Los Angeles florist.”
Below is a list of local businesses and services mobile phone users are searching for:
54% – Retailer
51% – Restaurant
31% – Travel Info (car rentals, hotels)
18% – Apartments / housing info
17% – Car related (gas station, repairs, parts)
15% – Beauty & personal (salon, spas)
#2 Most Important Activity – Help with shopping – 79%
With so many mobile users relying on their smartphones to help with shopping, it’s changing the way people shop. According to Google, 15% of all shopping related searches now come from mobiles.
Below is a list of how smart phones are helping people shop:
70% – Shopping in store
67% – Research then buy in store
54% – Search for a retailer
52% – Contact a retailer
49% – Compare prices while in store
#3 Most Important Activity – Manage finances and bills – 77%
A growing number of mobile users manage finances and bills with their smartphone. Mobile apps are popular, but smartphone users still prefer mobile websites for personal banking.
How is a smartphone used with finance related activities?
67% – Reviewing bank account information
51% – Doing an actual bank transaction
43% – Budgeting and chequebook balancing
24% – Stocks and securities research
#4 Most Important Activity – Keeping informed with news – 53%
Whether it is standing in line, riding the bus or sitting at the coffee shop more than half of smartphone users look for news to keep informed.
68% – Reading the news
41% – Reading or posting to blogs
15% – Reading magazine websites
#5 Most Important Activity – Purchase products – 35%
Mobile shopping is becoming increasingly popular. The only barriers are technology. This will soon change.
What are people buying on their mobile phones?
45% – Electronics
45% – Clothing or apparel
34% – Travel
26% – Books, magazines and newspapers
26% – Beauty and cosmetic items
24% – Jewelry and watches
20% – Computers and office equipment
From all this data, one can safely conclude that as a retailer, if you have not joined the mobile bandwagon, you are losing out.
With change comes opportunity, and the shift to mobile is the biggest change since the Internet revolution. Some businesses can afford to wait, while others need to get going now.
Which businesses need to make mobile a priority?
- Local businesses
- Retailers (and etailers)
- Financial service providers and finance related websites
- News providers, blogs and magazines
- Car rental agencies