The single most important mobile stat for retailers is…

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.

About the author

Rob Woodbridge

I'm Rob, the founder of and I've spent 14 years immersed in the mobile and pervasive computing world. During this great time I've helped some of the most innovative companies grow their business through mobile. If you are in need of a mobile business advisor or coach, connect with me here to get things rolling.

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