A new survey of US smartphone users suggests that while search engines are king when it comes to locating a business, the mobile call plays a critical role in in the purchasing process. I’ve experienced frustration when I was ready to make a purchase by obstacles, intentional or otherwise, that a potential vendor put in my way, and I’ll bet you have, too.
They’re Smart, Is Your Business Keeping Up With Them
Smartphone users are looking for what it is you do and sell because they want it—now. And when they have a question or need additional information from you in order to purchase, they want that information—now. In fact, mobile consumers are a bit like my seven year-olds: they want immediate gratification. Unlike my seven year-olds, who are tenacious as all get out and who won’t quit talking about what they want until they get it, your mobile customers aren’t so tenacious. If you don’t give them what they want, they are, quite likely, outta there.
When You Lose the Sale Because of Your Mobile Site
When was the last time you analyzed the mobile experience you’re serving up to your customers and prospects? More and more the first step in the path to purchase is originating on mobile devices and if you’re not laser focused on the mobile experience you’re providing, you’re likely losing business as a result.
I’ll give you an example of one such instance. Last winter, my husband and I set out on a Saturday afternoon to shop for tile as part of a kitchen and master bath remodel. We didn’t have a destination in mind until we got in the car, and my mobile phone was our guide. Some local companies never got a chance at our business because they had crappy mobile sites, and I couldn’t find the information I was looking for en route, so they were off the table. [As you might imagine, that prompted a rant about the ignorance of some businesses when it comes to the web and mobile shoppers–thankfully, the guy I’m married to is used to that.] The store that ended up with our business, which was about a $10K tile purchase, had a mobile site that gave us what we needed, including information on inventory, location and store hours—when we needed it. And we went and spent a bunch of money as a result.
How Click-to-Call Impacts the Purchase
One key element of a great mobile experience: providing a click-to-call button on your mobile site. Whether it’s information about your hours, products you carry or other essentials of the sale, directions to your location or any other random questions that a consumer needs answered as part of the path to sale, providing immediate gratification is essential.
Here are some key findings from the survey directly related to the importance of click-to-call:
- 70% of mobile users have used click-to-call to connect directly from the search engine results page.
- 61% of respondents said that it’s the purchase phase of the shopping process when click-to-call is most important.
- 47% said that if a business doesn’t have a phone number associated with it they will be more likely to go elsewhere.
- Adding a phone number to mobile search results increases your click through rate by 8% on average.
Pretty convincing, aren’t they?
So what are the main reasons respondents gave for calling a business from their smartphone—some of the very ones I mentioned above, related to our search for tile:
And what’s the result likely to be if they can’t easily find your number?
The evidence is overwhelming in favor of the importance of the phone call in the sales process and clearly shows the frustration users feel when they can’t connect easily. Consumers want their questions answered quickly and efficiently, especially when they’re on the move and the businesses that facilitate that need are the ones in a position to get their business. When 47% of people say they’ll immediately go elsewhere if they can’t easily reach you, making that process easy seems like a pretty good idea, doesn’t it? By adding this simple functionality to your site, you could be selling more stuff to more people. Which is rarely a bad thing.
Don’t Overlook Click-to-Call in Search
When it comes to what you’re doing with search advertising, click-to-call is equally as important as what you’re doing on your mobile website. And some types of business will logically benefit more from the ability to initiate a call from search than others. That’s reflected in the vertical analysis that the survey provides.
The results of this survey are pretty clear. If you’re not offering click-to-call functionality as part of the mobile experience you’re serving up to your customers, well, you’re leaving business on the table, and the same is true with your online advertising campaigns.
What about you? Are you using click-to-call and, if so, does your experience match the results of the survey? And if you’re not yet using click-to-call, does this data inspire you to do so?
Image Credit: Tim Hayden