This is a staggering number: An e-tailing group report (cited on eMarketer) shows that 78% of mobile consumers looked up store information from their smartphones over the holidays.
Forget showrooming, forget product research before entering the store, forget mobile commerce for a second. 78% of shoppers surveyed were using their phones to get information ABOUT the store – not the products in it.
The significance of this is huge – we forget that the vast majority of people carrying smartphones still think of it as the portable web, still think of it as a search tool – not a commerce or payments tool (yet). This means they are using them to get in touch, to find a location, to get where they want to go and a lot of them are making a “go, no-go” decision based on what is presented to them on the mobile web.
It seems old-school to think this way but if someone’s first interaction is trying to find you, should you not make that a priority on the device? Most of the websites I see on mobile are pushing deals, coupons – some aren’t even mobile-optimized.
Now, what I mean by “mobile-optimized” doesn’t mean it needs to be a truncated, limited version of the big site. It means the same information (all of it) but presented in a way that makes using it on a smaller screen and the purpose at hand easier.
We often forget the simple, first steps when it comes to mobile. Take a moment to look at your own site on a small screen. While you are at it, remove the “owner” veil and try using it as your customer, in the scenario they would be using it for. If 78% of your paying audience are coming to you this way, you cannot afford to ruin this very important first impression.