Late last year I was looking through one of our customers web analytics, analyzing some sales and browsing patterns and noticed something interesting - someone using an iPhone bought wine on this particular website.
We are hearing more and more about internet usage on smartphones - so is it time to target these mobile visitors? Let's look at some stats:
- Ebay expects to sell $1.5 billion worth of goods through mobile devices in 2010
- Mobile internet traffic is set to grow 400% by 2015 and bandwidth is expected to grow 39 times
- On any given day, 57.8 million Americans access the web via their mobile device
- Worldwide 172.4 million smart phones were sold in 2009.
All of the websites we build work on the iPhone and Android phones, but the experience hasn't been particularly great. Like most traditional websites, when they are viewed on an mobile device it involves a lot of tapping, zooming, and scrolling.
While there are some big numbers in the links above, looking at the wine websites we build, we are only seeing between 2-5% of traffic from mobile devices. However even with these small numbers, I would argue that the time for a mobile site is now - for the following reasons:
- The people who saw the largest successes from social media were the first people in, being early in gives you some first mover advantage.
- Get in early, make mistakes early, and learn while the traffic is still small. Figure out what is working and what isn't working.
- People might not spend a lot of time on your site with their mobile device because the experience isn't great right now. (Try visiting your own site on an iPhone or Android phone - would you want to spend a lot of time on it?) When the experience improves, they will spend more time and interact more - this has been proven.
Today we launched our mobile ecommerce solution. If you have an iPhone or Android Phone visit http://twistedoak.com, http://cuvaison.com or our demo site http://pinewines.com. Let us know what you think of the experience. I would also like to hear your opinions on mobile websites and mobile commerce.