Boss Lady

Don’t neglect your website: It could be your secret weapon in the mobile age


Today’s world is not only increasingly digital, but primarily mobile. Mobile traffic worldwide passed desktop traffic nearly two years ago and the gap between them continues to widen. Younger generations are not just mobile-first, they’re mobile only, making a mobile digital strategy crucial for all businesses, big or small if they want to target younger demographics.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, and yet there is still a significant gap between recognizing the importance of mobile for today’s consumers and implementing strategies to meet the opportunity in a way that truly yields a better experience for your clients and customers.

On mobile, a poor user experience is frustrating and design flaws are magnified. With three billion smartphone users in the world, the consequences of lagging behind in mobile can be catastrophic. Nonetheless, in WP Engine’s recent Mobile Web study of IT leaders, less than a third said their customers would rate their own businesses’ digital experience as superior. We can do much better.

The biggest hurdle for successful mobile strategies seems to be investment, which can be a problem for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Despite growing mobile traffic, businesses are still not investing sufficiently in their mobile web and app strategies alongside existing online and digital presences.

Newer mobile solutions, such as AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) and PWA (Progressive Web Apps) have the potential to not only improve an enterprise’s digital experience but improve the economics around mobile solution investment. Services of UX design firms like Clay also deserve attention. If your business wants to maximize return on investment, consider investing in your website’s mobile solutions as a priority over an app.

The end of the app store?

A global study of smartphone users, from The Center of Generational Kinetics and WP Engine, found that a large majority of them still have a clear preference for using company websites over mobile apps when making purchases online.

Improving the user experience on mobile web is key to unlocking a business’s mobile growth, particularly for those in ecommerce. Where native apps have the advantage of being written for the specific device they’re on and so can take advantage of certain phone features more effectively, there’s a consensus among IT leaders that the convenience and speed of AMP and PWA will lead to their widespread adoption within the next year. 70 percent went as far as saying that the use of PWA could mean an end to the App Store.

More bang for your buck

Finding a way to fund different technology solutions will always come down to budget and return on investment, and it seems that while many acknowledge the importance of mobile, few seem to have solved how best to finance their mobile strategies.

This is where solutions like AMP and PWA stand to significantly shake up the mobile landscape. Alongside the speed imperative for businesses in a mobile environment, respondents to the Mobile Web survey reported that development and maintenance costs for AMP and PWA solutions came in at less than half of those for iOS and Android apps over a two year period.

Given the importance of mobile to today’s consumer, it’s incredible how many businesses are still stuck in the process of prioritising investment for desktop traffic first and mobile web traffic second. This has to change, and investment in mobile strategies must become central to both marketing and business budgets, particularly for any ecommerce offering.

Perhaps, with the introduction of new solutions like AMP and PWA which deliver an improved mobile experience at less than half the cost of native apps, this paradigm will start to change a lot faster. The results are clear and your customers have spoken: mobile web solutions are the future of the digital experience.

About Mary Ellen Dugan'

Mary Ellen Dugan is CMO at WP Engine, the leading WordPress Digital Experience Platform serving 85,000 customers with 600 employees in Austin, Brisbane, London, Limerick, San Antonio and San Francisco.

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