Few inventions have revolutionized the way people talk and do business like the smartphone. Since gaining popularity with the iPhone’s debut in 2007, smartphones have transformed from niche tech gadgets to veritable necessities.
New advances in usability and sophistication have caused smartphone ownership to grow to over 60 percent of the population and climbing. Sales estimates totaled in the billions globally this past year alone — with North America accounting for 117.6 million units.
This surging popularity results in people using their mobile devices to shop online at an increasing rate. To make sure your brand is capitalizing on this market, here are some important questions to consider:
How Much Are You Investing in Mobile?
A few years ago, mobile traffic surpassed desktop traffic for the first time. Many business owners are still surprised to find out just how many visits come from mobile exclusively.
Your budget for mobile development and mobile-centered marketing should align with your customer’s interests. You can use site analytics to find out how many people are accessing your site through mobile portals. Mobile traffic will continue to increase rapidly in the upcoming months.
Use your data to find out how mobile usage affects aspects like conversion rates, page visits, time spent on site and other important statistics. If you observe a good supply of mobile visitors but lower conversions than your desktop customers, you need to make some adjustments to your mobile experience.
Do You Know What Your Customers Journey Feels Like?
Too many brands throw money at a problem but do not follow through to see if it worked. Make sure that your execution is not disconnected from the reality that your customers are experiencing.
Have you tested your mobile site out for yourself? You should put yourself in your customer’s shoes and find out how it feels to shop your e-commerce store on a mobile device. It should feel as easy and seamless as it does on a desktop, if not more so. Taking a mobile-first approach is a new strategy many businesses are taking to ensure the best experience possible for their mobile customers.
Discover where the pain points are or where a customer could get stuck along their journey. As the great usability author, Steve Krug, states: “Don’t Make Me Think”. Customers should be able to browse and buy items with as little friction as possible. Compare your usability experiences with data to analyze how much of your traffic actually converts. You can often discover problem areas you were not aware of through this analysis.
What Strategy Are You Using to Cater to Mobile Customers?
There are three main strategies businesses utilize to ensure their site works well for mobile users:
- Mobile only site — This tactic involves creating a new site exclusively for mobile, in addition to the desktop version. This is can be a good fit for highly complex sites that cannot be easily or cleanly modified to make responsive. In these cases, it is more feasible to take a mobile-first approach and create a new mobile version of the existing site to provide a better customer experience.
- Responsive design — This method has become the most popular today. A good web developer can adjust your site to respond automatically to the device being used. With responsive design, you can have a consistent e-commerce experience across multiple platforms. This approach eliminates the need for multiple sites.
- Mobile app — For the ultimate customer experience, a mobile app can be the best way to go if it makes sense for customers. Of course, an app can present some hurdles, such as startup costs and risk of low adoption rates. Keeping an app strategy on the horizon is still a great idea for brands with the budget and looking to diversify, rapidly scale and/or provide a more mobilized user experience.
Of course the right strategy depends on your mobile needs and budget. One thing is for sure, with nearly $200 billion spent on mobile e-commerce purchases each year, an effective mobile strategy is vital to your success.