Smartphones have become an indispensable part of our daily lives. Smartphone penetration is currently at 44% of the population of New Zealand  as at the first quarter of 2012, although a recent article an indicated smartphone usage is now 66% of the population of New Zealand and these smartphone owners are becoming increasingly reliant on their devices. 46% access the Internet every day on their smartphone and most never leave home without it. 

*Two-thirds of smart phone users say a mobile-friendly site makes them more likely to buy a company’s product or service, and 74% say they’re more likely to return to the site later. “Mobile is creating massive opportunity,” says Jason Spero, head of Google’s global mobile sales and strategy.”

* 61% say that if they don’t find what they’re looking for (probably within about five seconds), they’ll click away to another site. Half say that even if they like a business, they’ll use its site less often if it doesn’t work well on their smart phone. “This is a wake-up call,” says Spero. “You will lose customers at the moments that matter” without a site specifically made for mobile devices.

* 72% of users say a mobile-friendly site is important to them, but a nearly unanimous 96% have visited sites that aren’t. “When you offer users a desktop experience on their mobile ,” Spero notes, “it’s kind of crap!” (and we tend to agree!)

Google’s advice: Create a fast mobile site with big buttons and text, keep steps to complete tasks to a minimum, and promote the site with  mobile ads for the two-thirds of people who use search to find a site.

Here’s some more trends if you still need convincing!

  • Nearly half of all phones in North America & Europe are smart-phones, and they are rapidly becoming the go-to devices for mobile subscribers.
  • In the last 12 months, mobile searches have QUADRUPLED, and roughly 1 in 3 mobile searches are LOCAL.
  • In a recent survey by Google, 61% of people interviewed said they would go to a competitor’s site if your site is not mobile friendly.
  • For mobile price comparison shopping, 81% of users prefer mobile sites over mobile apps.
  • Telemetries has discovered that 95 percent of smart-phone users conduct restaurant searches.
  • The research also found that 90 percent of these users “convert within the day,” meaning they go out to eat.
  • Perhaps more striking is the fact that 64 percent were found to convert either “immediately” or “within one hour.”

These stats are a wake-up call for businesses who are not currently offering a mobile experience to their visitors. If you’re not on mobile, you should be.