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February 4, 2014

Recently, while reviewing university websites, I was surprised by the percentage of universities that don’t have mobile sites. If the switch to mobile sites isn’t predominant here, with their younger, more tech-savvy demographic, how lacking is it in other industries? If you’re wondering if your business needs a mobile site, the answer is yes.

Consider these statistics:

  • In 2013, mobile devices passed PCs as the most common web access tool.  (Forbes)
  • Mobile adoption is growing eight times faster than web adoption did in the 1990s and early 2000s. (Mobify & Nielson)
  • 58% of all U.S. consumers already own smartphones. (comSource)
  • The number of people who have a tablet or an e-book reader among those 16 and older now stands at 43%. (Pewinternet)
  • 73% of Americans 25-34 and 64% of Americans 35–44 are Smart phone users. (Nielsen Research)
  • 78% of teens now have a cell phone, and almost half (47%) of them own smartphones. That translates into 37% of all teens who have smartphones, up from just 23% in 2011. (Pewinternet)
  • 23% of teens have a tablet computer, a level comparable to the general adult population. (Pewinternet)

The traction of mobile devices is undeniable and their usage is already overshadowing that of PCs. The effect of carrying such a device in our hip pockets and sleeping with it close to our beds drives a trend commonly referred to as the “Constantly Connected Consumer”. This important societal shift in how we now consume digital content is key to planning any digital strategy. While this is most prevalent in teens and young adults, I challenge you to find a CEO anywhere who doesn’t check their smart phone first thing in the morning and last thing before bed.

If we’re not already hardwired to the Internet through our cell phones, think as well about wearable and connected devices. TVs, glasses, wrist bands and watches, flexible viewing surfaces, vehicles, appliances– It’s virtually inescapable (pun intended).

If your company doesn’t have a mobile presence, it needs one.  You need a mobile site, or, more likely, a responsive site, one that adjusts to any device – desktop, tablet, smartphone (I’ll discuss this in my next article). Start by considering how mobile is affecting the habits of your consumers and what challenges and opportunities that creates. Then create a mobile experience that capitalizes on these findings. At a time where the prevalence of mobile presence is lagging behind the mobile usage trend, those who are quick to go mobile are gaining a strategic advantage in brand perception, brand engagement, and commerce opportunity over those who don’t.