Every retailer, no matter how big or small, needs a website to survive in the contemporary shopping landscape. But did you know that you still might miss a critical part of your brick-and-mortar store? Even if you don't sell things online, you need a mobile-friendly website to enhance your customers' shopping experience.
Why You Need a Mobile-Friendly Website
More and more statistics point to shoppers using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers to search for products and read reviews. According to ComScore, the total number of mobile users is approaching 2 billion worldwide versus 1.7 billion desktop computer users. More people look at retail websites through mobile devices instead of computers. If you don't have a mobile-friendly website, you could be losing a huge customer base.
Consider huge shopping events such as the winter holiday shopping season. In 2015, nearly two-thirds of all shoppers used mobile devices to shop ahead of Black Friday sales. Nearly one-third of all consumers made purchases on their mobile phones during that shopping season. Even after shoppers enter your store, more than half of them use smartphones to find the items they want.
A vast majority of customers want to peruse inventory online, even if a company doesn't sell items through the internet. As many as 83 percent of American consumers research all kinds of products before going into stores to buy them. These items range from cars, computers and televisions to clothes, books and movies. People compare prices online and read reviews before they step into brick-and-mortar stores. Because more people do this through smartphones than desktop computers, companies need mobile-friendly websites to cater to a growing segment of the population who rely less on searching Google at home and more on perusing websites while shopping, waiting for a bus or even at work.
How to Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
Google's search engine rewards mobile-friendly websites versus those that aren't optimized. If you want your website to appear higher in a Google search rank with local SEO practices, you might want to optimize it sooner rather than later. Google can help you analyze your website through its PageSpeed tool. This software examines your website to see how fast it connects to a smartphone through the mobile web. The tool suggests changes in the programming of the website that can enhance a user's experience through a mobile device.
Another thing to do is make sure your most important information is in the middle of the page. Unlike looking at the web on a computer, where human eyes drift to the left side of the screen, most people look at the center of a smartphone screen first. These two aspects get your mobile-optimized website off to a good start.
It's no mystery as to why you need a mobile-friendly website for your retail business. You start to earn a greater market share and more loyal customers as soon as you optimize your website for smartphones.
Photo courtesy of SOZIALHELDEN at Flickr.com