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Most people don't use the mobile web? So, what?

I had to deal with a crappy Internet connection for a while this weekend, using my mobile phone as a hotspot. I was shocked—shocked!—that despite their “fast 3G network” claims, my wireless provider doesn’t always deliver on their promise. I know. You’re probably shocked too.

Along with unfriendly pricing and poor user experience, spotty coverage can’t be helping consumers adopt the mobile web. In fact, spotty coverage and poor user experience are likely two sides to the same coin. Add in the cost and you’ve got a classic example of poor value.

Value and utility remain the big factors why only 1 out of every 5 Americans use the mobile Internet every day and more than twice that number don’t use it all—even when it’s available on their phone.

The simple fact is, your customers don’t use the mobile web.

So why bother with it?

  1. Because they will; and
  2. It will happen faster than you think.

Remember when the Internet was over-hyped, oversold and overwrought with specious claims? I do. (OK, it still is, sometimes. But it used to be a lot worse). As far back as 2000, consumers claimed the Internet was an “…over-promoted fad.” And, yet, at that same time, almost 80% of the people in that same survey said, “…they could not live without it.” If you could go back to 2000 and improve your web presence, would you? I suspect you would.

If your customers are in the 80% not using the mobile web today, just remember these two things: They will. And it will happen faster than you think.

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Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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