Marketers, designers and webmasters have been screaming it in your ear for a good year now: mobile-responsive design is the way to go.
But maybe you have reasons for deciding not to switch. Reasons you might even cling tightly to. Serious, practical reasons. A mobile-first redesign can seem expensive. Is the existing site really so inconvenient? We can’t possibly have that many mobile users browsing our site.
As of this time last year, 61% of mobile subscribers owned a smartphone (as opposed to “just” a cell phone). That means they’re actively browsing, socializing, sharing, commenting, and most importantly buying.
And, with an eye on the future, it’s expected that 5 billion people will be using mobile phones by 2017.
Let’s face it – this is a market you can’t ignore.
If even a fraction of a percentage of those people falls into your target market – that’s money that you’re throwing away…right into your competitors’ pockets.
Just How Much Money is Being Spent?
A forecast study by Goldman Sachs revealed that mobile commerce alone will account for $638 billion in spending by 2018. That’s as much as e-commerce alone accounted for in 2013.
What’s more, mobile websites and mobile-branded apps combined outperform mobile search as consumers’ starting point to purchase – although good, old-fashioned search still leads the way:
With all these points in mind – you may have finally convinced yourself that mobile is the way to go. But where do you start? Fortunately, mobile optimization and design is easy to work with, and in many cases, can encompass elements from your current website design. To better understand how this works, it’s important to take a look into how these sites are built.
Getting Off on the Right Foot with “Mobile First”
The exponentially-growing smartphone and tablet market, once relegated to tweens, teens and twenty-somethings, has spread to encompass nearly every part of our lives in some way. Whether you’re selling information or tangible products – people expect your site to be mobile friendly. And it was with that expectation in mind that a “mobile first” approach was developed.
What is it?
Simply put, early on in the mobile market adoption frenzy, web developers knew there’d be no way to adjust for every size device that was currently available, much less any future expansions and upgrades. So they had to approach it from a different mindset – what if there were a way to build a system that automatically adjusted for whatever device the user was connecting on – be it mobile, desktop or laptop?
And designing with this frame of mind is exactly how “mobile first” and responsive frameworks came about – seamlessly delivering a touch-friendly, resolution-independent mobile browsing experience that’s built from the ground up to precisely target mobile users, without leaving other browsers out in the cold.
Attracting Buyers with Mobile-Friendly Platforms
The good news is that you don’t have to be a programming wizard to incorporate mobile-friendly elements and responsive design into your current website structure. There are a variety of online tools that make it easy and straightforward to turn your site into a mobile commerce powerhouse. Even if you don’t have a website, you can jump into the mobile-friendly fray with a few clicks:
With five million sites turned mobile-friendly Duda leads the way in mobile optimization
DudaMobile has two different flavors – one, which lets you incorporate the “look and feel” of your existing website in a more mobile optimized way, and another which lets you start building a responsive site from the ground up, that works on desktops, tablets and mobile phones alike. You can even see a preview of your mobile site before you commit to buying. Pricing starts at $9.99/month or $7.20/month when you pre-pay annually.
bMobilized offers a variety of mobile features designed to “plug in” to your website
bMobilized approaches mobile optimization a bit differently – in that it integrates mobile store capabilities (accepting credit cards, PayPal and Amazon) along with mobile-friendly plugins, including click-to-call, maps, directions and videos.
It also includes real-time analytics, so that you can see exactly how customers are interacting with your mobile site. bMobilized has both a do-it-yourself option for $15.20 per month if paid annually ($19 if paid month-to-month) or a “we do it for you” option for a one-time fee of $399 plus $15.20/month.
GinWiz lets you convert your website for any mobile device
Much like bMobilized, GinWiz offers both a do-it-yourself mobile design service, or an expert consultant/designer who converts your website for you. Prices are more per month ($30 for the DIY option) or $50 for the premium version, which gives you unlimited bandwidth and hosting for up to 5 sites. GinWiz also provides a variety of mobile-ready plugins, including click-to-mail, click-to-call and maps. Apart from supporting https://, there’s no mention of its e-commerce capabilities.
The Bottom Line on Making it with Mobile
Mobile optimization and responsive web design don’t have to feel like overwhelming technical burdens. Instead, consider them as an extension of your existing business plan and goals – you’ll be able to reach more people, in a way that’s both convenient and flexible to them – and there’s no price that can be put on that kind of peace of mind!