For those who missed the memo, 2011 is the year of the tablet, while 2010 was the year of the smartphone. Both markets are increasing at wild speeds, and by the end of 2012 it’s predicted that most phones on the market will be of the brainy variety. We can blame the rapidly advancing iOS from Apple and Android from Google, or we can talk about diminishing hardware, or we can go through the faster and more competitively priced data plans from carriers, but regardless of the point of origin, it’s time to optimize your site for the mobile platform.
Tiffany Lin of the Google Retail Team informs us that 60% of time users spent on their phones is spent browsing the web. Further, while the percentage of traffic from mobile sources varies from site to site, the Google Retail Blog gets about 8% of its traffic from mobile sources.
“As usage of mobile devices for both digital and physical commerce grows, so does the number of touch points for reaching your customers on the portable web,” says Lin. That means developing mobile resources for your customers. A mobile app is a great choice, especially when you invest in promoting, supporting, and refining it, but Lin reminds webmasters that a mobile site versions offers a great number of advantages. For one, more than two-thirds of users prefer to browse the web through sites as opposed to through phone apps. Almost half of those users will run off to a competing site if they don’t like your mobile version, and it takes a lot of speed and optimization to satisfy customers in today’s mobile world.
Mobile will be the number one way to access the web by the beginning of 2013, according to most analysts. That means you have 19 months to create a mobile-optimized version of your site before your current misstep in tactics turns into a major disaster.
[via the Google Retail Blog]