More than half of consumers in the U.S. now own smartphones — and they’re not using them just to talk.

In November 2014, ClickZ announced that Google searches conducted on a mobile device surpassed desktop use. If your business doesn’t yet have a mobile website, you’re missing an opportunity to reach a potential audience of more than one billion people worldwide who use their mobile devices to search for information, find products, and make purchases.

Here are just a few of the reasons having a mobile- friendly website is imperative to your eCommerce success, regardless of what you sell.

Google is giving mobile priority 

Driving sales in eCommerce is often as much about your search engine ranking, as it is about what you sell, or for how much. Recognising the prevalence of mobile use, Google is expanding its ranking criterion to include “mobile-friendliness.” If your website isn’t deemed mobile-friendly by Google as of April 21, your search engine ranking could be impacted.

Mobile users spend more

Consumer behavior research has long indicated that credit card shoppers spend more than cash buyers, in part, because swiping a credit card feels like less of a monetary “loss” than parting with cash. Also, scientists have found that people who analyze their expenses in detail tend to spend less. Both findings underscore the inherent benefit businesses can realize by catering to mobile customers: They make mobile purchases while doing other things, and buy on impulse.

In fact, ClickZ reports that the duration of time Amazon buyers spend on a desktop device is twice as long as when they’re purchasing on mobile. Fast Company recently cited statistics by Adobe Digital Marketing Insights that mobile buyers spend 20 percent more than desktop or laptop users. If the mobile user is on a tablet device (versus a smartphone), that number jumps to 50 percent.

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They want to engage

Data indicates that even though mobile users have a tendency to use their mobile device in tandem with some other activity (like searching the web while waiting in traffic or watching television), they typically seek instant gratification in their use, whether in the form of assistance, solutions, or simply, entertainment.

Unlike more traditional forms of marketing and advertising that require your brand to convince customers to tend to your message and respond to your call to action, mobile users are a highly captive audience who want to engage.

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Assuming you understand what they consider relevant, and deliver it through your mobile site in a means that is appropriate to their device, in screen orientation, functionality and optimized for fast loading time — you’ll likely find an audience that is ready and willing to engage with your brand, perhaps repeatedly.

You can reach them at the exact right moment

Effective marketing in today’s media-cluttered world requires not only messaging the right customer with the right offer, but doing so in the exact right moment, including the customer’s ever changing desires based on physical location.

Mobile websites empower your business to serve appropriate marketing offers to customers based on geolocation, along with the opportunity to further incorporate mobile tools like 2-D bar codes. With them, customers can use their mobile device to access highly targeted discounts and promotional offers, along with product details and customer reviews.

Overcome the greatest e-commerce hurdle

Shopping cart abandonment is a reality of the e-commerce world, but having a mobile-friendly website can defeat the number one driver behind abandoned transactions: Shipping costs that the customer did not anticipate until the transaction was well underway.

When your website is mobile-friendly, you can use geolocation services to offer a seamless and highly transparent customer experience. By allowing the customer to quickly acknowledge that his or her shipping zip code will be the same as his or her mobile location, for example, you can estimate shipping costs well before the customer ever initiates checkout.

Is Your Store Responsive?

Call it what you want, mobile-friendly or responsive. The point is, your shoppers are looking at your store via their phones more often than not. Is that something you can ignore?

Even if they don’t purchase on the phone, they still come away with an impression of it. You want that impression to be a positive one, so your store needs to be as beautiful and functional on a mobile device as it is on a website.

If your store isn’t already responsive, it’s time for you to make a much needed change. Move to a platform like LemonStand that has mobile-friendliness built in so that you don’t have to create a mobile site all over again.

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