Many of the customers I talk do are hesitant about creating a mobile version of their website. According to several studies less than 40% of the fortune 500 companies have a mobile website and from my experience many Swedish companies with a strong presence on the web still don’t have a mobile web.
So why don’t they have a mobile website? In many cases it’s a lack of knowledge about how active their users actually are when it comes to mobile web surfing. In other cases, and far worse, it’s about wrong assumptions and bad data. A made up discussion with one of these companies could sound something like this (made up because I would never be this straight forward and crude when talking to a real customer):
Customer – We can’t afford to create a mobile version of our web for the small number of users that access the site with a smart phone
Me – Sweden have a smartphone penetration of around 55% and 75% of the users access the Internet on their device every day. What makes you think it’s a small number of users?
Customer – We have statistics showing that only 8% of our visitors are accessing with mobile devices.
Me – But you don’t have a website adjusted for mobile!?
Customer – No, but most of those users have an iPhone so they can view our regular website.
Me – Yes, they can but it’s not a good experience. It’s a bit like wiping your behind with sand paper, it works but it’s unpleasant and you are only likely to try it ones. And you still have 8%! Imagine what you would have if you just had a mobile site. If you also went through the trouble of structuring the site in a way that fits the users context i.e. the needs when accessing with a mobile device you would have great competitive advantage over your competitors that still reasons the way you did in the beginning of this conversation.
Customer – Well Björn, you are probably right as always but do you have any proof that a good mobile website can attract visitors.
Me – I’m glad you asked! The reason we are having this discussion today is that last week was the first time a mobile site made it into the top 10 on KIA-index (a ranking of all Swedish websites based on unique visitors). Aftonbladet mobil was (as you can see in the picture below) the 10th most visited site in week 42 with 2 252 019 unique visits and that’s impressive considering a population of roughly 9 million.