Are You Mobile Friendly?

OpenMarket – January 26, 2016

It’s well known that many of the mobile technologies that we are all using as consumers are considered past the initial hype-cycle. However, I thought it would be interesting to see how businesses are adapting to the smartphones that have become our preferred devices for communication, interaction and information consumption.

First off, let’s acknowledge that mobile internet usage has skyrocketed over the past few years.  According to comScore, smartphones are now the dominant platform for accessing information via the internet. So with this powerful tool in our hands and the massive demand for information and services, are businesses acting in a mobile friendly way? Let’s assess the three key mobile technologies that businesses are using today:

  1. Mobile Apps – According new data from Nielsen time spent in mobile apps is up 63% over the past couple years. Despite the popularity of apps, app usage remains highly concentrated with the top five apps accounting for 80% of usage time, according to comScore (see top 10 below).  With around 300,000 business apps (i.e. not games, videos or social media) launched last year, there is clearly a lot of money being spent in this direction, but the benefit is questionable for businesses other than Facebook and Google.  If your core business is social media, gaming or entertainment, then an app is a must have for mobile friendliness.

comScore top ten mobile apps

Top mobile apps by unique visitors. Source

  1. Mobile Web –You might think accessing a company’s website via your mobile phone is just a given. Nearly every business already has a website, so it’s low-hanging-fruit to make sure I can visit your site and have a good experience on my mobile phone.  That being said, the number of mobile optimized sites is shockingly low!  Over 40% of the Fortune 500 and 90% of small businesses don’t have mobile friendly websites.  If I don’t use your app (odds are I don’t) and I am trying to do business with you, I’ll most likely, at least 54% of the time, find your site via search. Once I get there, if the experience isn’t mobile friendly, we probably won’t be doing business. This issue is about to be compounded by the Google announcement stating that their algorithm will begin to use a website’s “mobile-friendliness” as a ranking factor.  If your site isn’t mobile friendly, then you’d better get on it!
  1. Mobile Messaging – SMS, or text messaging, is perhaps the least sexy of mobile technologies, but one that many brands have adopted. With the ubiquity of SMS and the fact that we are all trained users, enterprises are leveraging its versatility.  Use cases range from marketing to customer service and everything in-between.  With 90% of SMS messages being read within 3 minutes and consumer preferences opting for messaging over voice or email, the ROI for mobile messaging is solid.  77% of consumers are likely to have a positive perception of a company that offers SMS.  This helps make text messaging one of the most mobile friendly ways businesses are interacting with consumers today.

Considering the impact of mobile on every aspect of our lives, it’s easy to see that the enterprise divide between what’s mobile friendly and what’s not is growing.  Mobile friendly laggards have plenty of options and some easy wins, but they’d better get moving before it’s too late.

If you have any questions or comments I’d love to hear from you!

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