This post was inspired by an American Express OPEN Form article by Laura Indvik.

Whether you're out to dinner, at a stadium watching a sporting event, walking in a park, or out anywhere, you are guaranteed to see someone using their mobile phone. Whether you think this is good or bad is something left to another debate. What you cannot ignore is that users are now essentially carrying and using computers everywhere they go and based on recent stats, they are most likely using them to browse the web.

Potential Customers, How Many Are Mobile Users?

StatCounter, Mobile vs Desktop Web Usage, US, Sept 2011-Sept 2012
Source: StatCounter, September 2012

A recent count of United States browsing statistics from StatCounter shows that over the last year (September 2011 - September 2012) there was a steady decline in the percent of people browsing the web via a desktop while there was a steady increase in the percent of people browsing via a mobile device. This trend shows no signs of slowing down and is not limited to the United States.


StatCounter, Mobile vs Desktop Web Usage, Worldwide, Sept 2011-Sept 2012
Source: StatCounter, September 2012

A recent count of Worldwide browsing statistics from StatCounter shows a similar decline in the percent of people browsing the web via desktop and increase in the percent of people browsing via a mobile device. With a far larger sample size, you would expect the percentage to be lower than the United States. However, the statistics show that the United States, while following the same trend, is behind the curve by nearly 1.5% which would equate to roughly 4.5 million users in the United States just to match the Worldwide percentage.

Business Impacts of a Poor Mobile Experience

With such a large percentage of users using mobile browsers and no signs that the trend is slowing, the consequences of not having a mobile ready website could be dire for your business. By taking a deeper look at the bounce rates, which represent the percentage of users who enter a site and then leave without viewing further content, we can get an idea of the mobile browsing impacts on a business. Based on browsing statistics for Shareaholic publisher sites since January 20121, the bounce rate for mobile users was nearly 10% higher than for desktop users. A January 2012 study by Strangeloop of browsing statistics for five e-Commerce websites they accelerate found a similar trend of significantly higher bounce rates for mobile browsers2. Android and iPhone users accessing the websites that were tracked had a bounce rate that was 10-15% higher than users with desktop browsers.

It doesn't take someone with an MBA to understand that users leaving your website without viewing additional content represents lost potential customers. Sure, some of the bounces we can chalk up to users stumbling upon your site without intending to do so, but you have those same types of visitors from the desktop and should expect similar bounce rates. You cannot overlook the mobile experience of your website with the fact that the bounce rate for mobile users is significantly higher than desktop users. A successful company would never willingly exclude segments of the population from their potential customers and nor should they exclude mobile users by having a poor mobile experience.

With this data in mind, we are now undertaking a mobile redesign for our company website to improve the experience of our users who are browsing with their mobile devices. Should you consider a similar effort for your website? Contact Us today to find out more about the different options we can provide to get your website ready for mobile and the future of internet browsing!

Sources

1. Aronica, Janet. "Mobile Traffic Has Increased 27% This Year. 9.56% Higher Bounce Rate Than Desktop Visitors." Shareaholic. 04 October 2012. Web. 10 October 2012.

2. Bixby, Joshua. "Interesting new findings about page views, time on site, and bounce rate across desktop and mobile browsers." Web Performance Today. 20 January 2012. Web. 10 October 2012.