Do you look good on a smartphone?

Do you look good on a smartphone?

A study recently completed by the University of Derby concludes that some people have become addicted to their smartphones, ie. they have become physically and mentally dependent on their devices.  The study found a positive relationship between this addiction and narcissism.  Apparently taking selfies and posting them online is one of the key signs of this problem.  So if you are a frequent selfie poster, watch out!  A quarter of those who took part in the survey that formed this research admitted that smartphones can cause communication problems in real life.  I can totally believe this.  When was the last time you took a sneak peek at your phone under the dinner table or at a social gathering when you ought to have been engaged in the conversation around you?  I am as guilty as you!

The fact is that smartphones are an integral part of our everyday lives.  The smarter they get, the better the screens.The more apps we use, the more important our smartphones become to our daily routine.  On any given day, I reckon most of us will likely be interacting more with our smartphones than any single human being.

For the travel industry, this is important because if your online presence does not look good or function well on mobile, your business is going to suffer.

This is backed up by the latest wave of brand consultancy Nucleus’ Mobile Web Browsing Survey.  The survey is based on the surfing habits of Nucleus’ customers’ customers.  It uncovers some interesting findings.  From previous waves, it has already been clear that customers purchasing luxury travel are more likely to be using Apple iOS devices rather than Android devices.  This remains so with the survey showing that iOS retains its dominance with 77% share of mobile browsing.

What is significant is that the first of Nucleus’ customers has seen the majority of browsing being done on mobile (just over 53%).  This is for a world famous five star hotel with 75% of mobile browsing done on Apple.  A word of caution here.  Nucleus does like to define mobile as including tablets, whereas I see tablets as more of a laptop/home computer replacement.  However, it is interesting to see the impact of larger screen smartphones, particularly the introduction of the iPhone 6.  For some of the sites Nucleus surveyed, iPhone surfing has been steadily growing until it now outstrips iPad surfing.

Blog_Paul_Richer_March_11_bodyAre you bothered?  You need to be.  Websites that are designed for PC screens are just about unusable on smartphones.  Hopefully, your site is not like this.  If you want to see who is failing right now, type “holiday” into Google on your mobile and have a surf.  Some quite large travel companies have still not got their mobile act together.

As important as usability is, if your site is not even found then you are in real trouble.  Read this note from Google’s Webmaster Central Blog, posted 26 February, “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”  If your site is not mobile friendly you are going to drop off the edge of Google’s world.  You can take the Google test to see whether your site cuts it.  Type “mobile-friendly site” into Google to take their test.  If you enter your URL and get messages back like “Text too small to read” or “Links too close together” you don’t look good on a smartphone.  You only have a matter of weeks to sort yourself out.Are you bothered?  You need to be.  Websites that are designed for PC screens are just about unusable on smartphones.  Hopefully, your site is not like this.  If you want to see who is failing right now, type “holiday” into Google on your mobile and have a surf.  Some quite large travel companies have still not got their mobile act together.

 

Tagged .

Paul Richer is Senior Partner of Genesys, a management consultancy specialising in providing advice on technology for the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Genesys has built a worldwide reputation for its knowledge and experience of new system procurement, online technology and strategies including website audits and online booking systems, reviewing and formulating companies’ IT strategies and more. Clients include many of the best known names in travel. Paul has co-authored several reports examining the impact of technology on the distribution of travel, including “Distribution Technology in the Travel Industry” originally published by Financial Times Retail and “Marketing Destinations Online – Strategies for the Information Age” published by the World Tourism Organisation. He has presented at and chaired many online travel conferences, is regularly quoted in the press and has also been invited to make several appearances on television to debate the subject. Prior to founding Genesys in 1994, Paul was Business Development Director of Finite Group plc and Head of the Group’s IT strategy consultancy. He holds an MBA from Cranfield School of Management, is a Fellow of the Institute of Travel & Tourism and Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. More information at http://www.genesys.net/

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *