Businesses must be mobile friendly

Recent research from Colmar Brunton  on the mobile shopping habits of New Zealanders has revealed a rapid rise in the ownership of mobile devices over the past two years, leading to some clear mobile shopping trends.

Colmar Brunton CEO Jacqueline Ireland says based on the company’s online survey, 75% of Kiwis now own a smartphone compared to 47% in 2012, while tablet ownership has more than doubled, from 21% to 49% in the same period.

“As a result of this growth in ownership, smartphones and tablets are being used in more ways,” Ms Ireland says. “We’ve seen a clear jump in the use of smartphones for shopping in the past year.

So it would appear essential nowadays for most businesses to have a website that is mobile friendly.

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What do we buy online?

According to the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) Online Retail Sales Index for May 2015, the areas of purchase that are seeing the most growth (compared to May 2014) include:

  • 19% Groceries & Liquor (incl health food and suppplements)
  • 13% Electrical & Electronic goods (incl computers & appliances)
  • 18% Recreation, Toys, Games, Entertainment media, Books
  • 12% Clothing, Footwear and Accessories

“Tablets are more popular for mobile shopping than smartphones – possibly because consumers can get a clearer look at what they are buying on a bigger screen while still being mobile, but smartphones are closing the gap,” said Ms Ireland.

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How to make a website mobile friendly?

Changes to the way that Google ranks businesses on its search engine mean, as well as shopping habits, mean that it is crucial for websites to have mobile friendly sites. Consider the following:

  • Customers expect a site to be optimised for the mobile and are likely to leave a site within a few seconds on arriving if it isn’t. Who likes trying to zoom in on text that is too small or trying to tap on links that are too close together?
  • Google has updated its search algorithms to favour mobile-friendly websites, and businesses that don’t have a mobile friendly site will not be ranked as highly in search results.

So how do you improve your site’s friendliness? Head to Google of course! Google has a great Mobile Guide to help you out.

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