From early 2000 through 2013/2014, companies were committed to having well-designed, highly usable websites, following the trends and rebranding every few years to keep up with user expectations. Having a functional website was the most critical component to expand their digital presence. SEO optimization started to have a big influence on how Google let users search for your website, and resulted in new jobs being created. However, in 2014, only 53% of business had a website, and 41% of small businesses still thought that having a website was not really needed.
Something started to change when the first iPhone started shipping in 2007; people began accessing websites from not only their laptops and desktops, but also from their tiny 2.5” screens. This created a new set of challenges and a whole new market: web apps, mobile apps and mobile-friendly websites. These new channels allowed businesses to expand their digital presence, but at the time less than 5% of the existing websites were mobile-friendly... and only 15% of new websites in 2014 were built to be mobile-friendly.
Users not only started to access the Internet through their mobile device, but the time spent online doubled, increasing from 2.6 hours daily in 2008 to 5.3 hours in 2014. Most of this growth was attributable to the time spent by users on mobile devices. In 2008, people were using their mobile devices to go online for an average of 0.3 hours a day; by 2014, mobile access increased by more than 8x, with people using their phones for online an average of 2.6 hours per day.
Statistics show that 50% of people use their mobile devices to look for local businesses and 20% of the visits lead to an immediate action. But 52% of users will leave a website that is not mobile-friendly, and 36% reporting that they felt they were wasting their time.
The bottom line? Mobile devices changed the way businesses and information are found. If business owners could do just one thing to keep engaging with customers or potential customers - it should be to embrace the mobile side of the Internet!
Mobile devices changed the game
From 2014 to the present, not only has a good quality and high-performing website become a basic requirement, but users also expect fast loading times, a mobile-friendly experience, and for bigger retailers, an easy-to-use app. Even today, 29% of small business still don’t have a website.
With 80% of internet users owning a smartphone and using it as prime source of information, a website that is not mobile-friendly will lose users, most of whom won’t return. 57% of users will not recommend a business if the website is designed or performs poorly.
While mobile apps are not a requirement yet, if you do have an app, it doesn’t mean that it is enough to give users the feeling that your business is a state of the art. An app should work properly no matter what the purpose of the app.
Mobile apps are on the rise, and just like websites, or web apps, they need to run smoothly and work when the user needs them. In fact, 62% of businesses that took part in a recent survey already have an app or are thinking of building one. Of the businesses that do have apps, 50% use their app for support and customer engagement, while 20% of businesses have an app just for branding purposes and 30% want to actually generate revenue.
A lot of e-commerce also tends to start on a mobile device, especially in store while shopping. People now like to see their options, if they could get a better deal, if the size they want is available in another store or maybe in the online shop. Purchases are then usually completed on a desktop or laptop. In the case of Millennials, 30% of all online purchases are made via a mobile device.
These are some of the reasons why a smooth cross-device experience is very important for 83% of users. It’s critical for businesses as well to promote a whole and well-rounded brand experience. With 52.7% of global Internet users accessing the Internet via mobile and people spending an average of 20 hours a week online through their mobile devices, giving users a reliable brand experience will help businesses grow their digital presence.
Quality is more important than quantity and users start to feel the difference between a well tested product and a product that was not.
The whole development process is also changing with shifting left practices, that enables testing during the short development cycles, allowing companies to deliver updates and products faster to continuously changing market.