Over the past year, we have been collecting data using Google Analytics for a small multi-concept restaurant chain. We ran an *Audience Mobile Overview report, which provides a breakdown of visitors by whether or not their visit was from a mobile device.
According to Google Analytics, the restaurant locations received combined visits of 389,034 for all of 2012. Of the total visits for 2012, 42% came from mobile and tablet devices. For one location, mobile traffic (see chart below) accounted for over 47% of traffic to their desktop website in 2012. These are astounding percentages when you consider that the iPhone was first released in the U.S. just 5 ½ years ago.
Yet despite the mobile adoption rate and supporting search statistics from Google & Bing, independent restaurants in the U.S. have been slow to create a mobile friendly experience for their customers. Our own internal study from last year found that 1 in 20 independent restaurants have a mobile version of their website. So why wouldn’t a restaurant have a mobile version of their website? There are a number of reasons that may explain why restaurants haven’t embraced having a mobile version.
- Too costly to develop and maintain
- Lack of understanding of the differences between an app (application) and a mobile website
- Not sure how customers locate a mobile version of a website
- Don’t see the benefits
- Not enough time
We can address the first 4 bullet points:
- There are many low-cost or free mobile website providers today that have online platforms where you can quickly and easily create a mobile version of your website.
- An app is piece of software that requires a developer to write. An app must be downloaded from iTunes or Google Play to a smartphone or tablet to run.
- A mobile website is a miniature version of your desktop website hosted by an online service provider which is formatted specifically for smartphones.
- A tiny snippet of code placed within the HTML your desktop website detects if a visitor is using a smartphone and then redirects them to the mobile website.
- Restaurants that have a mobile website with an online reservation link have reported a 28% increase in online reservations.
- Having a mobile website helps ensure that smartphone visitors don’t click away when they can’t quickly find the information they’re looking for such as your location, phone number and menus
You decide. Which version of the restaurant website below would entice potential customers to browse the menu and make a reservation?
If you have questions about mobile website best practices for restaurants please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Understanding mobile traffic to your desktop website can give insight into whether you need to develop a separate mobile website.Google