If we don’t see it live, American Ninja Warrior is definitely DVR’d in our house. For 3 active boys, it is an aspiration to make anything an obstacle course, sometimes to the chagrin of our furniture and walls.

Obstacle courses are fun for most people. The challenge of getting to the goal on the other side will induce persistence in most of us. But in real life, obstacles have the opposite effect. And on mobile, well…

Let’s Go Shopping

Imagine, if you will, that you want a new sweater for a weekend meet up with friends. Half* of us will pull out our phones and do a Google search, so you are likely to do the same. Right away, you see the image of a perfect sweater, and proceed to click the link. The site slowly loads, and then, uh-oh…the text is bleeding off the screen. Half the info for colors available you can’t see. Sizes, they definitely have a small and medium, but large and x-large are also off the screen. 40%* of users have had enough of these obstacles and leave the page for a competitor. And guess what? While not as perfect as the other sweater you buy a really nice one.

The delivery is faster than you thought, and the packaging is beautiful. You didn’t spend a lot, but it feels like you did. It is time to open the box and try it on, but the sweater is a little small. You call the company, expecting a hassle, but they turn out to be just fantastic! After a wonderful conversation about seemingly everything with the representative, they promise to get a new size to you right away. Sure enough, it arrives really quickly. Another beautiful package, and a return box and label for the too small sweater. The new sweater fits perfectly! At your meet up, you tell everyone about the great service, hassle free exchange, and even how beautiful the packaging was. Oh, and the rep was simply the nicest person.

Five weeks later, you have a date. What to wear, what to wear? You pull out your phone, but this time you don’t go to google…you go directly to the website where you bought the sweater. 33%* of consumers like you, the search will begin on a branded website they know and trust.

What great service! I wrote this, and know it is a fictional illustration, but I still want to know what site this is! This wasn’t an accident. This company had planned for you to not only buy from them while on your phone, but they also planned that you might need to return the item. They tested every point, just to be sure. Great experiences are not accidents but the result of great planning, marketing, and service.

Why Mobile Matters

Did you forget already? The first site our fictional shopper visited. Remember? Oh yeah, how fast we forgot. Our shopper will not return to the site with that perfect sweater, following the pattern that 61%* other web users take by never returning to a non-mobile optimized website. This doesn’t have to be retail. This example could be applied to any industry website. If a website does not perform well on mobile, it is an obstacle nobody on a phone or tablet wants to deal with. They move on, and the competition scoops them up.

Pull out your phone and go to your website, if you are a small business owner. Did you just lose a customer? Lose word-of-mouth? Lose revenue? Do you need to be a ninja warrior to get to where you need on your website?

*Stats via smartinsights.com (Comscore 2016, eMarketer 2015, Flurry Analytics 2015)

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