NerdWallet set out to identify which cities had best and fastest access to internet and the largest number of mobile phone stores per capita, among other things.
“Most people are relying on cell phones as their main portal to the internet,” the study concluded. It cited Pew Research Center figures, which state that 64 percent of U.S. adults own a smartphone and 10 percent have no other way of getting online.
The combined data highlight the importance of providing consumers with a pleasant mobile experience, said Jacques Hart, CEO of Coral Gables-based digital PR consultancy Roar Media.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt we live in a mobile-first world,” Hart said.
Roar Media clients, he added, which range from healthcare institutions to apparel companies, garner more than one-third of their digital traffic from mobile devices. The traffic email communications is similarly high: 50 to 60 percent of recipients open digital correspondence.
Figures vary industry to industry, and hours of the day play a factor, too. But the underlying message remains: It is crucial to interact with consumers via mobile.
“Everyone has a browser on their phone and people are used to searching for things on a browser. So make sure you are mobile-friendly,” Hart said.
Some ways business can tailor their digital approach to optimize web experience is by emphasizing text over splashy graphics, and ensuring that graphics that are used are adaptive to a mobile interface. Hart also recommends prioritizing mobile advertising over other digital media.
“[Owners of small- to mid-size businesses] used to say, ‘I don’t understand mobile, so I’m not gonna select that targeting feature [while choosing ad options on Facebook]. But you want ads served to mobile devices,” Hart said. “You’re getting more reach, more visibility and you’re getting more bang for your buck,” because of the relatively inexpensive cost of mobile advertising.