I think every business should have a website. Small, big, brick and mortar retail, cafe or hair salon – the web is where people go to find you when they want something. Websites are inexpensive and easy to build so there’s no excuse for not having at least a single page with a map, hours and an explanation of what you do.
Next, you have to think mobile. Yesterday, I desperately wanted a cheesesteak but an errand took me to the other side of town from my local Philly’s Best. I knew it was a franchise, so I took out my phone and looked it up. Sure enough, there was another location just a few blocks away. I got my cheesesteak and that franchise owner got a new customer.
But it almost didn’t happen because the website I hit wasn’t optimized for mobile. I had to navigate through the website. The buttons were too small and too close together and I kept accidentally resizing the map. I almost gave up but I didn’t because I really, really wanted a cheesesteak. Not every customer would be so forgiving.
TransFirst and ControlScan just released a new report called “Small Merchants and Mobile Payments: 2013 Survey on Technology Awareness and Adoption.” They found that only 31% of multichannel (online and offline) businesses have a mobile-optimized website. It can be hard to wrap your brain around it, I know, but here’s the number that really slays me:
49% of ecommerce merchants know their websites are not currently optimized for mobile devices and an additional 17% say they don’t know or are unsure about their site’s current status.
These are people who make their living through a virtual business but they’re not optimized for mobile. That hurts.
When asked why they haven’t optimized, 43% said it was because their customers haven’t asked for the service.
Next question: how many of your customers access your website with a mobile device? Only 18% of ecommerce owners were able to answer that question. More than half of those who do track, can’t say if their shopping cart abandonment rate is higher on mobile than on the PC.
Statistics say that “challenges during the payment process caused two-thirds of prospective mobile purchasers to abandon their online purchase.” So yes, your mobile abandonment rate is probably higher. The sad thing is there’s something you can do about it.
Even knowing that mobile optimization is important and can impact their bottom line, a large portion of small business owners still aren’t planning to make it so.
Look, there are plenty of things in this world that we can’t control, but this is one you can. In a few years, having a responsive mobile website will be the same as having a website that reads on a PC – an essential part of doing business.
Are you optimized?