Before deciding it’s time for a mobile strategy and a responsive website, many business owners are skeptical , continuously reverting back to the big question: is it really that important?

The simplest answer: yes. But to truly sway those skeptics, here’s a story about the typical interactions of mobile customers (your mobile customers), and how they interact with each other, social networks, content, advertisements, apps and so on – progressing from a stranger to a real, qualified prospect.

So let’s begin.

Jill has a busy day, but armed with her smartphone, she’s ready. She takes the train into the city, but not before stopping at Dunkin’ Donuts, where she checks in on Foursquare and receives a coupon. And she just stole the mayorship from some guy named Ron. I guess the warning about her creeping on his turf was legit.

Total number of Foursquare check-ins as of 12/19/2013: 5 billion.

Amanda, Jill’s real life, and Facebook friend, sees the check-in as she is scrolling through her wall on her phone. She Likes Jill’s status, and suddenly has an undeniable craving for coffee herself. She passes a Dunkin’ Donuts on Market Street and notices the line snaking out the door and half way around the block.

Total number of Facebook likes since launch: 1.13 trillion.

Being the socially-connected good person she is, she leaves a Foursquare tip for this particular coffee shop: “Don’t come here at 8:45 AM unless you want to wait in the cold. Starbucks is just a block away and the line is a lot shorter.”

Total number of Foursquare tips left as of 12/19/2013: 40 million.

Adam, who thankfully saw Amanda’s Foursquare tip and avoided getting stuck in the cold, sips his Starbucks latte while reading a Philadelphia Business Journal article on his iPhone. Yep, it’s cold and he’s not sure why he’s reading a story about it when he can just step outside. A part of the article makes him laugh though, especially the corresponding picture, so he takes a moment to Tweet the article to his roughly 7,800 followers.

Average number of Twitter users who use their smart phone to Tweet: 43% or about 277,672,500 users.

Meanwhile, Alex in Wisconsin, sees Adam’s Tweet and gets a chuckle. Not because the article was particularly funny, but because the author was complaining about a few inches of snow and temperatures in the teens.

Sitting on his couch, Alex decides that a trip to his computer is just too far to check the weather, so he fires up on his handy-dandy iPad. What’s this? A free app for weather? Of course Alex will download it and be exposed to whatever ads come along with it.

50% of mobile phone users use mobile as their primary internet source and 80% of mobile time is spent in apps.

While checking out the frigid forecast on his iPad, a local car dealership add blasts on his television. The energy and the volume of the commercial grabs his attention. He’s been thinking about a new car for quite some time.

The commercial ends before he can write down the car dealership’s website URL, but he’s got the name. He posts a message on Facebook ask all of his friends, asking if they’ve heard of the dealership or if they had another one they’d recommend.

Elizabeth, who is also in the market for a car, closes her HootSuite app and fires up the Dolphin web browser on her Android. She Googles the name of the dealership that she saw on Facebook. Google customizes her search based on her location and brings up the dealer’s website even though she spelled the name wrong. The IP address and GPS of her phone gave her away.

Mobile-based searches make up one quarter of all searches. And 1 in 3 of those mobile searches have local intent, meaning the searcher is looking for a product or service nearby.

Scanning the search results on her phone, she notices that the 2nd dealership listed has a 4 out of 5 star rating while the original dealership she was interested in only has 3 stars.

She clicks through to the dealership with 4 stars and is underwhelmed by the experience. The site isn’t optimized for her phone, making it difficult to see the content and navigate to view the dealership’s inventory. She’s had this experience on other sites before and immediately clicks back to the search results.

Mobile traffic now accounts for 15% of all internet traffic.

A few clicks and a few hours later, Elizabeth is using her phone as a GPS and is making her way to the dealership that won the mobile battle.

She snaps a picture of new her car and posts it immediately to Instagram, where Jill, the mayor of Dunkin’ Donuts, shares it.

Want more? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Check out this free webinar replay, Why Your Dealership Is Losing Money If Your Automotive Website Is NOT Responsive!