According to a 2015 study, two-thirds of Americans own smartphones, and for many of those people, their smartphone is their only way to access the internet. Users expect websites to work as well on their phones as they do on desktops, laptops, and tablets. Your restaurant website should have a seamless experience on any device it’s accessed.
If you don’t have a mobile responsive site, you could be losing paying customers. The only way to remedy this situation is to develop a mobile-friendly website.
In the past, you had to create a website for desktop use and a separate one for mobile use. Due to the time-consuming nature of this task, the mobile responsive site was developed.
What is a mobile responsive site?
A mobile responsive site resizes to any device that a viewer is using and allows for optimal interactivity across devices. No matter how the website is viewed, it is easy to read and navigate with little effort on your customer’s end. They have to scroll, pan, and resize less, which provides a better user experience.
What not to do on your mobile site
Naturally, you’ll want a well-designed mobile site, and you can ensure that you have one by avoiding the following things:
– A site that’s totally different than your desktop site
– A mobile site that isn’t visually appealing on a smartphone
– Too-small text
– Poor navigation between pages
– Operation hours and contact information that are hard to find
– No click-to-call phone number
What to do on your mobile site
Your job is to provide an experience that serves your customers. Do that by making sure you have the following on your mobile site:
– Easily accessible phone number, location, and menu for when they’re on the go
– Include all of the vital information about your food and establishment
– Easy navigation that just requires a swipe of their finger (think drop-down menus)
Benefits of Mobile Responsive Sites
As you probably would guess, Google is the world’s most popular search engine. In April 2015, they started ranking mobile-friendly sites higher in its mobile search results, so if your site is non-responsive, you’ll be penalized for it. Google claims that more searches are made on mobile devices than desktops, so there are many potential customers that are either not finding your website in a mobile search or navigating away from it if it is not responsive, which could be devastating for your restaurant.
A recent study suggests that 63% of people use devices other than desktops to find local businesses, and a good portion of those searches are for local restaurants. If you aren’t convinced yet that you need a mobile responsive site, then these next statistics should do it for you.
Four out of five searches conducted on mobile devices led to a purchase, often within a couple of hours. The highest conversion rate of all devices occurred on mobile phones at a whopping 80% of searches ending in a purchase.
Additionally, almost three out of four of the searches that converted led the customer into a brick-and-mortar store.
A second study specific to the restaurant industry surveyed 1500 smartphone and tablet users online, and also looked at the actual consumer behaviors of 6000 Apple and Android users. They found that 95% of smartphone users conducted restaurant searches. An incredible 90% of those who searched restaurants converted within the day, meaning they went out to eat that same day. 64% converted within the same hour of the restaurant search.
The results of the study should tell you that mobile users are usually ready and actively looking for a restaurant to eat at, and many of them aren’t spending much time making their decision. If your mobile website isn’t responsive, there’s a good possibility that users will move on to the next result, and you won’t get a second chance at getting them back.
For the searches and conversions that don’t bring the customers into your restaurant, having mobile-friendly online ordering is vital.
Mobile-friendly online ordering
If the trend of most searches being conducted on mobile devices continues, and your website is setup to be mobile-responsive, then you should see online orders made on smartphones increase, and you’ll want to be prepared.
If you offer easy and mobile-friendly online ordering, you’re likely to see orders come through that are larger in size, since customers have more time to browse your menu with less pressure. Also, busy families may choose to order online, and if you have responsive ordering, they can choose to pre-order meals and pick them up at their convenience.
With so many Americans on mobile devices, Google penalizing for non-responsive sites, and the incredible conversion rates of local mobile searches, you’re doing your restaurant a disservice if you don’t offer a mobile-responsive site. When potential customers arrive at your restaurant’s website, and it’s difficult to use on their phone, they’ll likely leave, and they may not come back.
To ensure you don’t lose out on customers, take the time and money to develop a mobile-responsive site with easy online ordering, and you’ll see the benefits in no time.
Rafi Cohen, a graduate of Baruch College & Brooklyn native is the Co-Founder @ Orders2me, an online ordering platform that gives restaurant owners all the features they need to grow their business in the digital age.
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We are on a mission to help local restaurants thrive in the new digital economy. Our blog is designed to give local restaurants best practices from some of the top restaurants in the world today.