The number of smartphone users in the U.S. continues to rise exponentially. As of November of 2011, over 91 million people owned one of these mobile communication devices. This figure represents an eight percent increase in just a few months. If this rate of growth continues, the number of smartphone users could reach 100 million by March of 2012.
In addition to smartphone adoption, the number of feature phone owners that are accessing mobile websites continues to rise. In general, consumers are using their mobile devices as the "go-to" access to the internet. This poses the question of when to build mobile websites for your business? If your business has an existing website that is getting traffic from customers who are using mobile devices, then setting up a mobile website can make sense.A business owner can easily gauge where their traffic is being driven by looking at Google or Bing analytics on their websites. Most will find a large amount of traffic is coming from mobile devices.
Businesses that have customers that are likely to make impulse purchases can greatly benefit from a true mobile website as well. A mobile site can provide additional information which can help a customer make a choice, suggest related items to go with the one being considered, or allow customers to purchase directly from their mobile phones.
Desktop computer users have different needs than people who are accessing mobile websites. I would suggest that companies which are interested in setting up a mobile site consider what the customer on the go would need from it to have a positive experience. The site will need to load onto the mobile device quickly and have a simple menu which is easy to navigate.
With mobile access for research and shopping becoming increasingly popular, I can see that more businesses will make the decision to build a mobile website to help boost sales.