You’re naked in the e-commerce industry without your own app, right? Well, much like the little girl who famously pointed out the flaw in the emperor’s new clothes, recent research suggests that having your own app without having a mobile-friendly website can mean that you’re catering for less than half of your mobile website visitors and potential customers.
So if a native app were an item of clothing, it would be a shirt that’s a bit too small or a dress that leaves little to the imagination and not the practical and effective suit as most people think.
Let’s illustrate this with a story:
Tim needs to replace his beloved and oft-used Doodad after one of his children decided to see if would work in the bath. It didn’t. He’s busy and doesn’t have the time to go to Doodadmart so, after daydreaming about the glory of a new Doodad all day, he decides to go online and purchase it with his tablet on his commute home.
He arrives at the Doodadmart homepage only to see that the text is too small to read and the buttons are too close together, making it impossible to navigate and make a purchase. There’s a prompt informing him that, “The Doodadmart App is the best way to enjoy shopping online!”, but he doesn’t want to install an entire app just so that he can buy one item, even if it is a Doodad. He starts to despair as his dream of easily purchasing a Doodad begins to drift away.
Fortunately he discovers another online store, The Doodaderie, and finds it easy to make a purchase without the hassle of an app. Satisfied, he spends the rest of his journey home reading the latest copy of Doodad World magazine.
Every time he needs to replenish his supply of Doodads in the future he goes straight to The Doodaderie because, unlike Doodadmart, he knows it’s easy to place an order from his tablet.
According to a collection of recent research, users still prefer to do their shopping via mobile websites. In fact, 58% of mobile revenue comes from mobile websites whereas 42% come from applications. This means that a typical consumer like Tim is more likely to use your mobile site to make a purchase than your native application, and if they’re unable to do so then you’ll probably lose the sale.
Another important statistic is that the way users view a site on a tablet is split between portrait (40%) and landscape (60%). This means that your site needs to be easy to use in both formats, and the only way to accomplish this is by making it responsive. If you only cater for one of these formats then you’re inadvertently alienating 40-60% of your tablet-using visitors. And the number of this type of user is only set to grow with a reported sales increase in tablets of 68% from 2012-2013.
Some further food for thought comes in the shape of changes in Google’s approach towards ranking search engine results made earlier this year. Essentially, if your site isn’t mobile-friendly enough then your ranking could rapidly decrease for mobile searches, resulting in the Tims of this world not being able to find your website in the first place.
Want to know more?
Here at Sponge, we don’t want anything to get between your customers and your Doodads. If you’d like us to help make your site responsive, or would like to know more about Doodads, then contact one of our experts.