Lack of a mobile website will cost businesses customers, survey says

Here’s one skill you may want to add to the IT department, either in-house or via a consultant or outsourcing provider: Mobile web development.

An effective, well-designed mobile-friendly website is critical to attracting and retaining customers, according to recent research from Google. And failing to design those websites could be costing many companies business.

As mobile devices become more popular, companies increasingly need to cater to smartphone owners. And as those gadgets become more common for professional use, more people making buying decisions for their companies are viewing potential partners’ websites on their mobile phones, too.

And the mobile browsing experience has a big impact on those buyers’ decisions. In fact, 50% of smartphone owners say they’ll turn to a company less often if its website isn’t optimized for mobile devices — even if they like the business — according to Google.

In addition, 48% say that if a site doesn’t work well on their smartphones, it made them feel like the company doesn’t care about winning their business.

Mobile web development a hot area

Creating a mobile version of a site isn’t a job to be taken lightly, either. Nearly all (96%) of smartphone owners say they’ve come across sites that were difficult to use on their device, making it clear that plenty of organizations haven’t put as much work into those sites as they should.

Unfortunately, mobile development is an IT skill in high demand now, and mobile developers currently demand a premium salary. Many companies are pushing forward with plans to not only optimize their websites for mobile viewing, but also develop custom mobile apps for customers and employers.

That’s why many companies have outsourced the work to a third party. When deciding what’s best, organizations should first determine the scope of their mobile development strategy and determine whether it will be more cost-effective to outsource or obtain the necessary skills in-house.

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