How Your Customers Use Their Phones

December 4, 2012 6:00 am

How many of your customers are using their mobile device to access your site?  If you can’t answer that, you’d better check your analytics and find out.  It’s probably a higher number than you realize.  New stats are in, and it’s more important than ever to understand the technology your customers are using.

According to comscore, smartphone penetration finally broke 50%.  Of the smartphone population, 52.5% of users were utilizing Android devices while Apple accounted for 34.3%.  Even though Android is outselling Apple three to two, that doesn’t mean more people are visiting your site through Android devices.  What’s important to understand about these numbers is that Android and Apple users use their phones very differently.

We tracked website traffic and gathered real world stats from three different types of businesses – a law firm, a home services company, and a B2B packaging company.  Here’s what we uncovered:

  • Law Firm: 78% of mobile visits (tablets and phones) came from Apple products
  • Home Services Company: 78% of mobile visits came from Apple products
  • B2B Packaging Company: 44% of mobile visits came from Apple products

If your business is consumer facing, it’s a safe bet that the majority of mobile traffic you’re receiving is coming from Apple devices.  We are seeing this directly in our stats, and outside sources are seeing it in their stats as well.  The fact is, Apple users utilize their mobile devices very differently from Android users.  They are more ready to buy and use their phones to access the web a lot more.

And for mobile traffic, here’s more significant news.  We recently analyzed those same three businesses to compare the increases in mobile traffic to the previous year.

    • Law Firm: 100% increase in mobile traffic
    • Home Services Company: 120% increase in mobile traffic
  • B2B Packaging Company: 10% increase in mobile traffic

For consumer facing businesses, the amount of traffic coming from mobile sources has effectively doubled.  B2B clients are still seeing an increase in mobile traffic, but at present it is not quite as dramatic.

What the data means for you:

  • You need to be optimized for mobile traffic!  If you’re not optimized for mobile, especially if you are a consumer facing business, you are missing out on a huge opportunity.  If a visitor comes to your site, and cannot easily navigate, you will likely lose a customer.  The numbers of mobile users are rapidly increasing, and in a few years will likely surpass desktop/laptop users.  Don’t lose customers because your site isn’t optimized for mobile traffic.If you are primarily B2B, the trend does not appear as urgent.  But remember that change is coming and ask yourself “Do I want to be ahead of the curve or playing catch-up?”  It’s not a matter of “if” customers will visit your site primarily through mobile, but “when.”
  • Optimize for Apple/iPhone first.  Android may be selling better, but the people accessing your site and buying your products are using iPhones, iPads, and the iPod touch.  While you want your site to be friendly for everyone, make Apple a priority.  Don’t use flash on your site unless there is no other alternative, design apps from the Apple store, and make sure you’re testing on an Apple device.  Cater to the 75% before the other 25%, no matter which device is your preference.

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About The Author

We specialize in b2b, supporting the clients who are the "The Brands Behind the Brands." These are the supply chain partners of brands, either in Tier 1 or Tier 2 positions, who drive value through the delivery of goods, services and technologies. We enjoy blogging about all things related to Branding, Marketing, Inbound, Tradeshows, etc... And we're always happy to talk about any ideas you may have that might Get You To Your NEXT!