Is utilizing a mobile platform a necessity? The short answer is yes and no. The more obscure and complex answer is; are you appealing to a robot or a human being?
If you are appealing to a robot, that robot being Google’s search algorithms, then having a mobile platform is going to be worthwhile. Late last year Google announced that it had made changes to its indexing algorithm so that it would now index mobile compatibility as a priority.
Announcing that it had started to test its mobile-first index search algorithm in November 2016, it said its focus will be on determining if there is a mobile version of your brokerage’s website and then allocating a ranking depending on how efficient it is.
Google certainly has good reasons to start incorporating a mobile first index, a quick web analysis will show you that most internet searches are being done on mobile devices rather than computers. Officially dominating the market, this trend is particularly the case in highly developed countries such as the USA and Japan.
Therefore, it’s in Google’s interests to reflect the predominant habits of its users by presenting websites that will have a more user-friendly experience for their mobile surfers. While it’s still not quite clear to what extent the mobile first index will affect existing rankings, the prioritization of a mobile interface certainly adds imperative to have a mobile platform.
Due to the practical limitations that come with the smaller screen size of a mobile device, your mobile trading platform will need to have less content and any content that is not presented in a mobile friendly way, Google has advised is unlikely to perform as well.
However, when you narrow your focus into the arena of financial trading, the situation doesn’t translate exactly as you would expect. Not even barely touching the 50% mark of mobile adoption practiced generally, mobile trading specifically, is stagnating somewhere around 30%.
Whilst the percentage of mobile trading is better in Southeast Asia, you would be hard pressed to put forward a case of putting mobile targeting at the top of your marketing strategy. There is a lot of speculation about what’s causing this break away from the normal trend, the general consensus is that it’s the human traders at the user end of the mobile device.
Trading is just too complex to go mobile all that easily. While a client might be willing to buy their grandmother’s 90th birthday present online or book their holiday online, they’re simply still too reluctant to place a $500 trade online. Most traders are still on desktop using multiple screens that display charts, news and indicators, enabling the trader to analyze live information in order to execute their strategies and place their orders.
As developed as the mobile device is, it is still restricted to one single screen, and it’s a rather small one at that. While most trading application do allow traders to utilize menus and swipe screens, it’s still nowhere near as user friendly.
Furthermore, traders may need to adjust their trading strategy, while automatic stop loss and take profits parameters can be executed, they are not able to use the full range of strategies available, such as hammers or shooting stars, typically used by day traders.
So should you have a mobile platform?
After weighing up the pros and cons, I would still side with having a mobile platform. Although Google advised not to worry too much if you don’t have a mobile website as it will simply index your desktop version instead, the objective when it comes to Google is not so much to be indexed, but to be ranked, and ranked well. Having a mobile site will speak well to the mobile first index, giving you that sought after position at the top of the search rank.
When it comes to your human users, even if 70% of your clients want to stick with tradition and trade on a desk top, that still leaves 30% of your users who are perhaps younger or more innovative and may enjoy the convenience of trading on mobile.
Implemented well into your existing offerings, traders should be able set up their screens for analyzing the markets and setting up their trades and then take the opportunity to monitor and adjust their trades whilst on the run. Moreover, as the next generation of traders mature, the trend indicates that there will be an increasing demand for a mobile platform. Putting yourself out of the picture now may in effect be putting yourself out of the race in the future.
This article was written by Adinah Brown of Leverate.