Brands need to wake up to the power of mobile to increase sales

It is only six years ago, in June 2007, that Apple introduced the iPhone, and now around half of the population uses smartphones. According to a recent eMarketer report, there will be 30.9 million smartphone users in the country this year, representing 48 per cent of UK residents and 60 per cent of UK mobile phone users. This is just slightly behind the US, where 56 per cent of all US adults have smartphones and 61 per cent of mobile phone users.

As more people are using their smart phones to buy stuff, it is key that brands design their websites so that they are easy to navigate on the phone, or they will lose sales to their competitors. Yet according to a white paper by integrated US agency thunder::tech, analysing how brands are presenting themselves on mobiles, it was found only one quarter of brands have a mobile strategy. The report compares this with the market last year, and although there is a rise in the number of companies updating their websites, this needs to increase more quickly if it is to meet consumer demand.

Justin Smith, manager of user experience development at thunder::tech, discusses how US brands are changing their websites to suit mobiles, and why this matters: “When smartphones first hit the market, companies rushed to update their sites for smaller screens. The same thing happened with the rise of tablets. Much of the industry has embraced responsive web design, a solution to create a single site that adapts to multiple screen sizes. We know that responsive sites will outperform traditional sites on new devices – mobile, wearable, or something entirely new.”

Which website do consumers prefer browsing?

The one on the right has simpler navigation, large buttons and clear calls to action. Over three-quarters of customers will not bother browsing a website unless it is optimised for mobiles. In addition, 30 per cent will turn to a mobile-optimised website of a competitor.

Brands need to make it easy for consumers to buy on mobiles because it is estimated by eMarketer that by 2017, a quarter of all online sales will take place on a mobile device, either smartphones or tablets. Further estimates show that 125 million people, 78 per cent of tablet owners, will use them to make purchases.


thunder::tech researched the top 50 US companies drawn from four lists: Fortune 500; Crain’s Cleveland Business, private and public companies; and Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, to see whether they were mobile-optimised.

Thunder::tech’s white paper

Written by Daney Parker

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