How Did We Get Here?
In June of 2007 Apple announced the first iPhone. Since then, the race has been on by various manufacturers to win market share in the mobile device markets. Almost overnight the websites designed strictly for the desktop lost significant value. As time passed, more aggressive businesses were redesigning their sites to accommodate the desktop as well as mobile devices.
The Mobile First Concept
In recent years it has been suggested that websites be designed with their primary focus on mobile pages. This makes sense considering that today more websites are being viewed on mobile devices than on desktops. Some ask “Why do you do this?” The answer is quite simple. Business needs to focus on their greatest market share. And today, more pages are being viewed on mobile.
The Coming Shift
In the near future there will be an even more significant shift in web usage, out of desktop computers and into mobile devices. Not long ago households saw the PC as a necessity. It was their only connection to the web. Today many of those PCs are aging out and they are not being replaced. Web goers are getting everything they need from their mobile devices. So they have no reason to replace their PCs.
Recent generations have done well managing the changes in their lives caused by the web. Just look what has happened over the last 60 years. Baby boomers had to deal with the c prompt (C:\>) at their desktop computer. This brought on fear, literally! Members of that generation were either enthused about the power of the PC or they were frightened by it. They wondered “What do I do if this expensive machine breaks? I’m dead meat!” Today the Baby Boomers are handling their smart phones with ease.
Generation-X witnessed the advancement of the PC and the introduction of mobile devices in their primary working years. They saw the change as positive and were not afraid for it. They have managed it well.
Next, the Millennials came into the workplace with knowledge of how to operate a PC through most of their lives. The mobile device was viewed with less fascination then the preceding age groups. It was considered a normal part of their lives. They will hardly notice the shift.
In comes Generation-Z. Born from the mid 1990s to the early 2000s, Generation-Z has had access to the Internet most of their lives.
“Today’s teens had phones when they were in elementary or middle school, compared to high school or college for their older counterparts. And that shift is already shaping behaviors. Teens are moving from texting to messaging apps and from shopping on desktop computers to shopping on their phones.” (think with Google).
The baby boomers, Generation X and the Mellennials will all see the ease with which Generation-Z is able to fill their wants and desires with their mobile devices. They will envy that expertise and confidence. And many of the older age groups will make an effort to increase their knowledge and expertise. And they will do it with ease.
The Change In Retailing
The business world is beginning to get the picture. On April 7, 2017, Bloomberg reported that “America’s Retailers Are Closing Stores Faster Than Ever” (Lindsey Rupp, Lauren Colenam-Lochner and Nick Turner – Bloomberg). And this is happening for a good reason. Consumers are getting more satisfaction with less effort when they purchase on the web. Why would anyone drive to the mall to purchase a high quality pair of binoculars if they feel there is a good possibility that they may not find what they want? If they order on-line, their options will increase and the headaches will decrease. Businesses that want to keep up with their markets will need to design and create new display and delivery systems that will satisfy Generation-Z and be friendly enough to entice the Baby Boomers to join the party. Everyone in between will fit right in. The size of that market should blow us away!