B2B Mobile Traffic: Hype vs. Reality


I recently read Mobile Usability by UX gurus Jakob Nielsen and Raluca Budiu and came across a statement that piqued my interest to do a little digging into our own clients. The statement is as follows:
“Because many mainstream websites won’t see a lot of mobile users, they should just adapt their basic design to avoid the worst pitfalls for those few mobile users they’ll get.” I was curious to see how much mobile traffic our B2B clients are receiving, so we dove into Google Analytics and this is what we found:

  • Desktop: 88.7% of traffic
  • Tablet: 5.42% of traffic
  • Mobile: 5.88% of traffic

 What were mobile users looking at? Still hungry for more, we researched the top three page views for mobile device usage for each client and discovered:

  • ALL of our clients reviewed had About Us, Contact Us and/or Team/Leadership Team in their top three viewed pages - most had at least two of these in their top three.
  • The next viewed pages were Services (overview page), a specific product or blog posts/blog home.

The conclusion? From our research, it seems like the few users our clients are getting on mobile devices are scoping out to see who they are (About Us, Team/Leadership Team), how to get in touch with them (Contact Us) and maybe taking a look to see what services they offer. Are they taking a deep dive into the content? Not so much.

Another interesting fact from the Nielsen/Budiu book is about user success rates on mobile phones. I thought that since most people hate browsing the web on their mobile phones because it's awkward, slow and generally disappointing, that it must be harder too, right? Kind of wrong.

After much research, Nielsen/Budiu reported the following success rates for users completing tasks with their mobile phones on mobile-specific sites vs. regular full sites. Here's what they found:

  • 64% success rate for completing tasks on mobile-specific websites
  • 60% success rate for completing tasks on full websites

Wow, right? Not much of a difference.
What does this mean? Should you really ignore your mobile users? I look back at Jeff Robertson’s post last November, Three and a Half Strategies for Responding to a Mobile Web, and although responsive design is the latest craze, maybe Strategy 1 is the best route for B2B - Ignore the Mobile User. I’m not saying that’s the end-all, be-all. But, should you spend more money building new versions of your website just to please a few users looking at your “About Us” page? Probably not. Should we look at your Google Analytics and create those pages to work well on a mobile phone? Probably so.

As new technologies and gadgets are released and evolve, it’s always a smart choice to see what’s best for your users, your industry and your content. The answer to planning for mobile isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

Shay Ruggles
written by SHAY RUGGLES

Shay Ruggles is the Director of UX at Carbon8 who ensures we are creating compelling experiences that balance user intent, clients’ business needs and site performance. A former Account Manager, Video Producer and Carbon8’s first employee, Shay leveraged her years of experience, education and research to transition to the creative team of Carbon8 in 2012.

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