Mobile devices have captured the attention of any business that needs customers – in other words, all of them! Search engine algorithms have been changed to adapt to mobile users, apps are heavy on the mobile side, and social media platforms are favoring mobile friendly websites, too. But what does all this mean for the computer? Am I one of the few consumers still using this perhaps outdated machine? When it comes to businesses, websites, apps, and social media, has the computer finally moved into extinction? Let’s take a look and find out.
Four Reasons Mobile and Computers Must Co-Exist
#1 Consumers Seek Instant Gratification but That May Not Mean Mobile
Consumers of all types want to find the answer to any question immediately. However, immediate does not always mean mobile. For me, “immediate” means from whatever device I happen to be using at that moment, which would be either a computer or a mobile device. This means that businesses should have the information consumers will be seeking in an easy-to-find format for both the desktop version of the website as well as the mobile one. The computer is still being used regularly by consumers, not as often as on mobile devices, but still more than enough to remember that many searches may start out on a desktop, then move to a mobile device – and vice versa.
#2 Buying Habits
If you are like me, you have gotten into the habit of searching or researching everything before you make a decision. Even something as simple as where to eat lunch now involves a search of restaurants nearby, menus, reviews, and costs. Many of these searches are usually done with smartphones because they are handy and with us nearly everywhere. In fact, over 90% of adults do keep their smartphone close by, within arm’s reach.
And of course, there is online shopping! When I buy something from from Amazon and that package arrives at my door it feels like Christmas, and somehow seems even more fun than shopping in a brick-and-mortar store. However, it is interesting that even though I may first find an item on my mobile device, I normally wait until I get to my computer before actually placing the order. And according to various surveys, I am not alone. The reasons for this anomaly vary, but some proclaim that a computer “feels” more secure for inputting payment information, or that it is just plain easier to see and navigate through the final buying process on a computer than on mobile. Despite these factors, mobile is still the first place consumers look to find what they want.
If you represent a brick-and-mortar business the same is true for you but in reverse. Consumers deciding where to go for their needs and wants may start on the computer or mobile device to find you, but once in your store, many will be using mobile to compare item features and prices with your competitors. But how many actually check a mobile device when making in-store purchases? How about 82 percent! That is indeed most of us.
#3 Apps and the Seamless Experience
When it comes to apps, it seems like mobile apps are all that matter, and with around 73% of smartphone users placing their favorite app on the home screen, there’s a good argument for that. However, with consumers still using and making purchases via the desktop environment. Make sure your apps can interact with the browser. So consumers can make the switch between mobile and desktop seamlessly.
#4 Size Matters
I believe that the main factor that ensures the existence of the computer for the future is simply the size of the screen and in some cases, because of the speed. Watching the latest cat videos or your favorite music video is definitely better on the large screen. As mobile devices increase their screen sizes that may change, but for now, watching videos (especially a how-to) via the computer provides a better experience for the user.
Mobile is on the rise, that can’t be denied, but there are still benefits to consumers that use a computer in lieu of a mobile device. This means that businesses need to make sure they balance their focus on various devices in order to capture their audience’s full attention.
Today I feel that I will always use my computer at least as much as my mobile device, but in some circles, I may be considered to be a dinosaur myself.
What do you think? Has the computer reached the point of extinction for you?