Archive for June, 2011
There’s some sort of information we need, immediately.
We want our news instantly, and our shopping, too.
Once we get the info we’re looking for, we’re motivated to take action. If it’s related to shopping we’ll buy something, right then and there, via our smartphone, or, if it’s a local search, we’re likely go to the place we just found online to make an in-store transaction.
Simple, right? Indeed, however, for companies and organizations there’s more to it.
From a business standpoint, the best way to capitalize on this user behavior is to understand how people search, and buy, while on a smartphone. Don’t assume it’s the same as happens while surfing the web via a desktop computer. Because it’s not.
A new report by Google and Ipsos OTX MediaCT, called the Mobile Movement, Understanding Smartphone Users offers insights into our smartphone habits. The study polled more than 5000 smartphone owners about their smartphone usage in general, and shopping habits, in particular.
The ubiquity of smartphones in our everyday lives
The study looked into general smartphone usage. Here are some of its findings:
Where do you use your smartphone?
87% on-the-go, commuting or walking
77% in a store
73% in a restaurant
66% at a social gathering
54% café or coffee shop
53% doctor’s office
What media related activities do you do while also using your smartphone
44% listen to music
33% watch TV
29% use the internet on a computer
27% play video games
22% read newspaper or magazine
16% read a book
What activities do you do while using a smartphone
59% wait (in line at the market, at a doctor’s office, for a bus, etc.)
39% use the bathroom
27% cook or do household chores
20% drive a vehicle
17% walk my dog
14% pump gas
13% play sports or exercise
8% take a shower or bath
Design your mobile website for multitasking
Basically, the majority of us will use our smartphone just about anywhere we can get a signal. And when we’re goin’ mobile we’re usually multitasking. Our minds are only paying partial attention to our phone activity.
This has serious consequences for a business’ mobile web presence — one of the top ones being, your mobile site should be streamlined to readily enable users to find what they want, and complete tasks, in as few steps as possible. And yes, this is true for any website, but it’s even more critical in the mobile format.
You want a site where after someone clicks through to it from search results, the most important info is viewable at a glance. For one good example see how Burger King does it. And better still, the Burger King web server recognizes when a user is on a smartphone and automatically delivers the mobile site version:
As opposed to this, from Coca Cola, which serves up about a ¾ version of its main website just like you’d get through a desktop computer. Note, some items on the lower right corner don’t even show up if you’re using an iPhone. Seriously Coke, you should know better:
Mobile phone as personal shopping assistant
Of course, it’s no surprise to find out smartphones are used much like a mini netbook computer — after all, that is what they are, albeit one that has a phone attached to it. When in shopping mode a smartphone is our handy-dandy combination phone book, GPS, online catalog and price comparison device. Of the 5000-plus people who participated in the Mobile Movement study:
74% used a smartphone to make a purchase
70% used a smartphone while shopping in a store
27% bought something via a mobile website
22% bought a product or service through an app
After finding that local info via a smartphone users were ready to swing into action:
61% called a business
59% visited a business
58% looked up business on a map or got directions
54% visited the website of a business
36% made a purchase from a business online
22% recommended a business/service to someone
20% read or wrote a review about a business
19% marked or added a business to my favorite list
Mobile search and sharing
These stats are a good indicator of how important it is for a business to optimize for local search. Also, it’s interesting to see how many users are recommending a business or service, writing a review or adding a business as a favorite. This is part of a growing trend where we want our web experience to be more personal and social. That’s why you want to make it easy for people to share and like your site.
For businesses the signal is coming in loud and clear: the time is now for mobile.
- Deni Kasrel
Have you seen good or bad examples of mobile websites? What are they? Your comments welcome.