It is no secret that marketers are struggling to keep up with the explosion of digital channels for consumers and brands to interact. Mobile has long been thought of as an emerging channel, yet data recently collected by Compete sister company LightSpeed Research suggests that mobile should no longer be thought of as an emerging channel for consumers. 54% of consumers report having access to a smartphone with Internet access – approaching the number of consumers with a laptop and/or desktop computer.
Mobile is just one of many digital channels that marketers need to scramble to solve for how they will respond to. Here are three areas Compete believes are critical to address in order to drive mobile success.
Understand what is unique about how your customer uses their mobile device.
Is your brand providing the right content on a mobile device? With limited investment dollars to spend, marketers need to understand what is going to be most engaging and useful to consumers on mobile device. The actions a consumer takes on Walmart’s desktop site are likely to be much different than its mobile site. As our research illustrates, activity is vastly different across devices.
Marketers need to spend more time understanding not just the degree that consumers shop on different devices, but what specific areas of content are most relevant/useful on a smartphone versus desktop. For example, 45% of consumers who use their mobile devices to shop report using the device to compare prices. In some industries, it might be that mobile’s role is not unique or as important to their digital strategy.
More work is also needed to understand and personalize the mobile experience to different segments. We know that 74% of females and 70% of males use their mobile device to access the Internet everyday.
However, merely knowing the kinds of information required on a mobile device is not enough. Mobile requires an important dimension that has not been as important on other digital devices: context.
Identify when mobile is most relevant in your customer’s path to purchase.
Is your brand providing mobile content at the right time? Brands need to be as aware of both the type and context of the information that their customers might be engaging with on a mobile device. Consumers relationship with brands has the potential to be the most personal yet given the places that consumers are performing shopping related activities. According to Compete research, nearly 1 in 5 consumers performs shopping activities on their phone while dining out.
Mobile content needs to be organized differently. Perhaps the ideal mobile site is less focused on the categories shopped and more focused on use case – an experience for the casual customer and one for the mission driven consumer. As smartphones get smarter, features like voice recognition, hold the potential to make mobile sites really feel like personal concierge.
In order for that relationship to deepen, brands need to prove that mobile make life convenient.
Create user experience that encourages more mobile engagement.
Is your content easily accessible? One of the biggest areas of opportunity to create immediate impact in the mobile channel is to innovate the user experience. As highlighted above, consumers are engaging with brands while waiting in line – your opportunity to influence those consumers also is much shorter.
90% of consumers reported having to zoom to enlarge product text or images to better see or consider an item on a page. Take a look around at many retailer sites not accessed through an app on a phone and you’ll see how websites have been retrofitted to be viewed on a smartphone. The user experience is cumbersome and not inviting to the consumer. Marketers are closer than they have ever been to a consumer – brands need a simple, intuitive interface to match the shortened opportunity to influence a consumer.
Where to, next?
In the coming weeks, Compete will be dedicating more space to help marketers connect the dots between mobile and traditional online channels.