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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : January 14, 2010

Gartner: Not long before mobile Internet access exceeds access via PCs

If your website isn't already optimized for access via mobile devices then it's about time you started the process. According to new research from Gartner, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common website access devices in the world in the next three years.

by Helen Leggatt

gartner logo.gifLast year, The Nielsen Company found that the number of people accessing websites from mobile devices increased 34% YoY, from 42.5 million in July 2008 to 56.9 million in July 2009.

And the trend shows no signs of slowing.

By 2013 Gartner predicts that the total number of PCs in use will top 1.78 billion units across the globe. Within the same timeframe they predict the combined installed base of smart-phones and browser-enabled devices to exceed that with 1.82 billion units worldwide.

Businesses with websites not already optimized for smaller-screen formats will suffer as on-the-go consumers demand easy-to-navigate websites that give them access to the information they want with minimal clicks and at page load speeds the same, if not faster, than those of their PCs.

One way to do this is to formulate a "lite" version of your site and register it on a .mobi domain. That way you can configure the website so it contains smaller, or less, images, a clean and simple format and includes easy navigation and search to enable users to quickly find the information they want.

However, the number of different devices in use means that more and more mobile marketers are turning to automatic mobile device detection methods. In a nutshell, these detectors make a decision on what to serve based on how an incoming browser describes its capabilities.

Also consider the type of information an on-the-go user is likely to want and put this information at the top of the page. Most are going to be looking for a location or opening hours or even a map or menu - give this information to them first.

Hopefully, marketers will begin to realize that if they want to attract the next generation of users then an "Internet presence" alone isn't enough. Today, a "mobile Internet presence" is important, too.

Tags: Internet access, mobile Internet, mobile phone, PCs

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