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Smartphones are now central to many of the tasks and activities we engage in every day. Whether it’s keeping on top of work, catching up with the latest shows, finding somewhere to eat or even buying the things we need, our mobile screen is often the first place we turn.

Despite this, many brands struggle to provide the kinds of mobile experiences people expect, resulting in conversion rates that still lag behind traditional computers. With so much at stake for both brands and consumers, we conducted a pan-EMEA survey looking at the obstacles preventing businesses from succeeding on this crucial platform.

The value of mobile

The first thing we wanted to understand was whether lack of progress on mobile is simply a symptom of brands undervaluing the channel. We surveyed 637 marketing and web development professionals across the region, with 93% saying that they view their mobile website as critical or important to their success and 75% saying the same about their mobile app.

So, if not a question of underestimating mobile’s importance, then perhaps the problem is with brands overestimating the quality of the experience they provide? Almost 75% of respondents viewed their mobile site usability as 7+ out of 10, with only 20% prepared to acknowledge that their desktop site provides superior functionality. In fact, more than 80% of brands felt that their speed and user experience were on par or better than the competition.

Barriers to progress

Around 50% of brands say that mobile is a strategic priority, but despite this there are still barriers to progress. Asked to list the main obstacles holding them back, 28% of respondents identified lack of time, with the same number citing issues with legacy technology infrastructure. Beyond these two explanations, lack of budget and a dearth of available expertise in development, design and measurement were also common answers.  

Help is at hand

With many brands struggling to meet user expectations of speed and usability, action is clearly required. This is where technology such as Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) can really help; simple to code and quick to execute, AMP pages can be up and running in as little as two days, and load almost instantly even on 3G connections. After adopting AMP, brands as varied as Telefonica and Delivery Hero have seen their load times reduced by as much as four seconds in some cases, resulting in significant increases in conversion rate.

Read about brands implementing AMP at ampproject.com

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