With more users than ever surfing the web on smart phones, tablets, and internet-connected gaming devices, it is imperative for businesses to have a website that can create a positive experience for those mobile users. But where would one even begin? These four key tips below will help lay the foundation for devising a strong mobile strategy to better reach these users.
1. Set Your Expectations.
According to an Internet Retailer study, mobile traffic accounts for about 10% of overall site traffic—but only 1-2% of overall sales. Research suggests that users tend to do research on their mobile devices, but then complete the purchase from a desktop computer or in a brick and mortar location. Although it may not appear that the mobile channel is not driving a significant amount of sales, your mobile efforts will enhance the shopping process on your main website and assist in earning the trust and loyalty of the customer earlier in the sales cycle.
There is more good news, too: according to a study published by Forrester research, mobile shopping has been on the rise and its growth is expected to continue to increase. In 2010, mobile users accounted for about $3.5 billion dollars in sales or about 1% of total ecommerce sales. However, that number is projected to swell to $31 billion and 7% of total e-commerce sales by 2016. Although you may initially be underwhelmed by your mobile activity, testing methods and defining your mobile strategy early will allow you to scale your mobile growth as adoption and engagement rates rise in the coming years.
2. Know Your Audience.
Knowing your audience is a key element to your mobile strategy. What is your key demographic? If your core demographic is small business owners over 50, your mobile strategy will differ greatly from a business that caters to high school and college-aged athletes.
One of the best ways to get started on devising a mobile strategy is to ask yourself the following question: “Why would users be visiting my site on a mobile device?” If you sell computer hardware, a user might visit your mobile site to compare prices as they are in a brick and mortar store; if you own a bed and breakfast, users might be visiting your mobile site to find contact information and directions; if you run a bank, users probably want to check their account balance. Anticipating what action the user intends to take on a mobile site rather than on a desktop site should guide your design strategy.
3. Optimize For All Devices
Just because your website is not built in Flash does not mean it is “mobile ready!” Users will generally have a less than ideal user experience if your “mobile website” is just your regular website on a smaller screen. Similarly, the display on an iPhone is different than that of a Blackberry or an Android device, so designing a website for iPhone could alienate users who own other devices. According to the most recent quarterly report from ComScore, Android devices make up 51% of the mobile market share, followed by iPhone(30%) and RIM/ Blackberry(12%). Ensure that in designing your website, you account for all of these formats in an attempt to not alienate one or more particular types of mobile users.
4. Mobile Site vs. Mobile App
A mobile site should always be the first step into mobile for a business with an online presence. While many might use search engines to navigate the mobile web or browse on their mobile devices, most users do not seek to download an app published by every website they have visited. Mobile websites, on the other hand, recall the web experience and do not expect the level of commitment that an app download might. A mobile website ensures an optimal experience for all mobile traffic, not just those in the significantly smaller group who owns an iPhone and has downloaded the app. If you’re unsure about adoption rates or how best to market your app, it might also make more financial sense than having a custom-created app designed.
Many mobile apps have achieved success, but it is important to remember that mobile apps are only successful if they add value. If they do not add value, downloads will remain low and users will eventually abandon use of the app. Ask yourself, “What is my app seeking to accomplish?” If you do have a mobile app, it is recommended that you feature an option to download that app on your mobile site.
Did you know Wakefly can create mobile websites? Contact your Wakefly representative today to learn more!