It’s very clear now, and has been for some time, that mobile browsing is here to stay and that it’s becoming the first choice, or the only choice for plenty of internet users. At the turn of the new year, it was estimated that UK mobile browsing reached nearly 36% of total usage 1. The desktop/laptop user group will be with us most likely forever, but we’ll see over the years either a steady decline in usage of desktops, compensated by a continuing increase in mobile browsing. Or, desktop browsing will remain around the same level, with an increase in overall time spent on the internet with smartphones and tablets taking up more of the day.
The question of whether you really need a website that is mobile-friendly (or ‘responsive’ as we web designers often call it) is void now. Let me be straight here – you need one if you don’t have one already. As the above figure says, you could be missing out on up to 36% of business.
Here’s another fact to drive that point home, and it’s especially important if you export or have an international customer base – sixty per cent of browsing worldwide is now via a mobile 2.
What if you’re selling stuff online via your e-commerce website? In January 2015, data showed us that purchasing online in the UK via a desktop or laptop was still a majority – two-thirds of the population. So what about mobile shopping? The same data also demonstrated that British online shopping using the mobile web accounted for 18% of sales. The total product searches using a mobile phone was 22%.
That figure will continue to grow and it’s something to be taken advantage of. The way I see it is that internet users will use their mobile to browse an online shop for quick access, sometimes heat of the moment, on-the-go purchases. Loading up the laptop or desktop requires more effort, and of course, if the user wants to qualify for same day dispatch, then they best be at home in front of their computer. Or, use their mobile whilst they’re out and about.
The thing I’m about to say next, I’ll be honest I can’t back up with any solid figures, but from my years of experience working in retail, I can tell you that striking while the iron’s hot sometimes makes a difference as to whether a purchase is made or not. Shoppers sometimes get cold feet. By having the option of allowing a shopper to browse your website in a mobile-friendly version, on-the-go, could potentially by-pass the time it takes to get home, load up the traditional computer, which may lead to the sale not going through until the next day (if it’s bed time for example, or the favourite telly programme is on), and potentially getting forgotten about altogether.
If you’re an existing customer of ours, we’re offering discounts for mobile-friendly (responsive) versions of your S7-made website. This is available for static websites, content management system websites and e-commerce websites. Hopefully you have received our recent marketing email outlining the discounts you can receive.
For our new customers, we offer an optional mobile-friendly (responsive) version of your website and will price it within our project proposal document and estimate. The price depends on whether you’re going for a static website, a content management system or online shop, as the extra work involved differs depending on the system. Also, looking at competitors and from conversations with clients, we thought hard about whether we should be offering the responsive version of a website as standard. To be absolutely honest – making a website responsive does take more time, and we’re a business, so we have to charge for our extra time. So either the standard price would go up, or, we offer the usual price plus the option of going mobile. In the end we felt the latter was more clearer and fairer.
And what if your site was not created by us, but you’d like us to turn it into a mobile-friendly website? We’d love to help. Just get in touch with us and we’ll assess how your website has been coded and designed and from there we can provide an estimate. As with a lot of things, websites can be written in different ways to achieve the same goal. We know our websites inside out, whereas if it has been created by another fellow web designer, there may be a different code language being used, or sometimes there’s a few quirks or cut-corners. This will determine the estimated cost.
So, if you weren’t quite convinced before that mobile websites are the way to go, hopefully our blog post has changed your mind! Please get in touch if you’d like us to help with your responsive website.