What Customers Want From Mobile Websites [Case Study]

mobile website tipsWant to know what consumers want from mobile websites? Yesterday my husband and I went shopping for tile for our kitchen and our experience is a perfect case study. The good news? It’s certainly not rocket science — in fact, we consumers don’t necessarily need a bunch of bells and whistles. All we want and need are the facts. And quickly. Please.

Back to yesterday. We got in the car and started driving. He drove, I Googled. Sound familiar yet?

We are remodeling our kitchen and zeroing in on what we want to do for back splashes (marble) and countertops (Caesarstone – in case you’re curious). I Googled “tile shop kc” and here’s what I found:

mobile search

I skipped the first result–it’s an ad, and I always skip it. Do you? I digress. I went automatically to the second selection, The Tile Shop | Store Locator, which is obviously a chain and a brand I recognized. Only problem, when I clicked on that link it took me to a broken page on their website. Here’s what I saw.

mobile website tips

Guess what? That little glitch? It cost them the sale. And while we’re on that topic, you know, the value of a customer, let’s just say that the total spend for this particular project is probably about $5,000-$7,500. And we are shopping and ready to buy.

I went back to The Google and went to the next link, which was The Tile & Stone Warehouse. I groaned when I saw that they didn’t have a mobile website, and complained when I had to scour around and pinch and move the screen, looking for a location and their hours. Naturally I subjected my husband to a rant about how businesses are really missing the boat because they don’t understand what customers want, and they’re certainly not delivering when it comes to mobile. He’s used to these rants—but this time, he agreed.

As we headed over to The Tile & Stone Warehouse (who were indeed open on Sundays), we talked about how customers really want just a few things when they are searching from their devices. Here’s what they are:

Location

Days and Hours of Operation

Click to Call

It really is that simple. People aren’t getting out the Yellow Pages any more before they come visit your business. They don’t need to–they’ve got phones. And Google. So if you’re not serving them the information that will get them to your location or get them to buy, you’re missing the boat. Like The Tile Shop. One broken web page was all it took for me to punt them. Think your customers aren’t as impatient as I am? If so, you’re probably wrong.

To give The Tile Shop their due, while they may have a broken web link that shows up in a bad spot (and hopefully the SEO team they’re paying will get on that), they do understand the importance of mobile. And since the hubby and I were talking about this and I had only time to kill during the ride to the other tile store, I thought I’d check out The Tile Shop and see how their mobile experience measured up. They  may have lost the sale because of a bad link, but they did get brownie points for understanding what customers want from mobile. Here are some screen shots that show exactly what I’m talking about:

Their Mobile Home Page

mobile web tips

Note that it’s easy to read and easy to search. Also note the store locator in the top nav, easy to see and easy to access.

Their Store Locator Page

Notice how they’re a national chain, with locations all over? And see the handy “Locate stores near me using GPS” option? Sweet. Of course I clicked that. And here’s where the GPS button took me.

mobile website best practices

And this was the bottom of that screen, when I scrolled down, giving me the street addresses for those stores, along with their clickable phone numbers and store hours.

mobile website case study

It took me exponentially longer to write this post about creating the perfect mobile experience for your customers than it did for me to decide where I was going to shop, drive there and spend money. And lest you think it’s just me who feels this way, the data supports this case study.

  • 70% of all mobile searches result in action with 1 hour. (Mobile Marketer, 2012)
  • 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to action, over half leading to purchase. (Search Engine Land, 2012).
  • 61% of customers who visit a mobile unfriendly site are likely to go to a competitor’s site. (Karim Temsamani at IABALM 2012, via IAB)

As you’re thinking about your integrated marketing strategy, please focus on your website, which is truly the hub of all your business operations. No matter what business you’re in. And as part of that, make sure you’re serving up a mobile experience that makes it easy for customers to (1) find you, (2) come to spend money during the hours you’re open and (3) call you if they have a question with one simple click. If you do, I predict there’s a good chance you’ll do enough business in no time to cover the cost of that website. In fact, if you’re a tile shop, one sale like ours would cover a whole lot more than your mobile website. Just. One. Sale.

Lead image by rachaelvoorhees via Creative Commons

  • http://twitter.com/rhogroupee Rosemary O’Neill

    And one other thing…the ability to get out of the “mobile ghetto” if you want to. I can’t stand it when I’m stuck in the mobile interface and I know I need something that can only be found on the full website.

    This post should be carpet-bombed to every single retailer on earth…thanks for speaking up for all of us :)

  • ShellyKramer

    Thanks Rosemary :))))

  • http://twitter.com/Collin_Bunch Collin Bunch

    I’m constantly having this debate with small business owners, while they themselves use mobile personally, don’t think its a priority. Thank you for stating simply why its essential and how most businesses screw it up.

  • ShellyKramer

    You are most welcome, Collin!

  • http://Social-Tango.com Billy Delaney

    Just found @DudaMobile and appreciate your article all the more for that. thanks

  • ShellyKramer

    You’re welcome!

  • http://twitter.com/TheChiefAlien HowieG

    Can I bid on this project. I have some tile yah know. Really swank tile.

    I think there is a common misconception about Mobile by businesses. They really just need to take a step back and do what you did. I bet often they get sold junk by web design companies. They should try shopping and searching themselves.

    We don’t need the whole site. Just the important stuff. And you list it all very well. Just call me when the kitchen is done and the cupcakes are ready.

  • Brad Riley

    I prefer a solid basic mobile site vs. Dudamobile. Ive used both. I agree completely with the article and appreciate the author for providing such simple truth! Very nice.

  • ShellyKramer

    I’m with you, Brad. That’s what we build. Good, solid solutions

  • http://Social-Tango.com Billy Delaney

    Thanks. And so the journey to a simple mobile site that points to the main site has begun.

  • ShellyKramer

    Excellent. And if you need help, Bill, holler. We do that for clients all the time :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/shellykramer Shelly DeMotte Kramer

    No, you can not. If I wanted a hack, I’d have my hubs do the work :)) Cupcakes are in the oven.

  • http://Social-Tango.com Billy Delaney

    my post for today: 10:00am Eastern links to this very article as an excellent example of the real use of mobile. And thanks

  • ShellyKramer

    Thanks Bill :)

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  • http://Social-Tango.com Billy Delaney

    Welcome :)

  • Guy R Cook

    Thanks for that, I”ve been trying to ‘show’ that same idea to clients, who for some reason (lack of mobile device most likely) just don’t seem to get it. This visual does a great job.

  • ShellyKramer

    Great. Glad it helps, Guy.

  • http://twitter.com/_fabval Fabio Valeri

    Great case study – and really spot on!

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  • http://brianvickery.com/ Brian Vickery

    NICE – the personal case studies are always the ones conveyed with the most passion. Yes, I always skip the ad at the top. Yes, they should have location and phone on their mobile site. Location should automatically pull up the map for me to get driving directions (I do not want to read the text on your site). The phone should be recognizable, so I get prompted to call the number.

    Any errors along the way, or if I cannot easily access this most basic of information, and I will take my business elsewhere as just one of many impatient and “entitled to convenience” consumer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.cyr2 Mark Cyr

    Great article and right on. Because we are a mobile website and mobile app development company I have reposted this on my business FB page..need to push the point that businesses don’t realise they are losing business.

  • ShellyKramer

    Thanks Mark. Glad you enjoyed :)))

    And yes, they ARE losing business.

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  • http://twitter.com/yasminbendror Yasmin Bendror

    Shelly, brilliant post and invaluable advice on having a mobile version of your company website with your fab case study! I agree 100%. This is an exact scenario of me and my husband in the car…ready and eager to spend our money, and not finding info on our smartphone! And then we inevitably have the discussion on how surprised, shocked and dismayed we are at these big stores that DON’T think about a mobile version of their website. So much business is lost. Its marketing 101 these days and is only going to increase. Thanks for taking the time to write and share.

  • ShellyKramer

    Thanks Yasmin. So glad to hear we’re living the same lives. And yes, I agree, businesses are really missing the boat! Thanks for coming by!

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