The Ubiquitous Mobile

Go ahead and step into the nearest coffee shop, fast food chain, restaurant, grocery store, department store, doctor’s office, government office, dentist’s office, car repair shop, subway, bus stop, etc. That list could keep going on and on, and all these places have one thing in common. There’s people waiting, and all those people are doing the exact same thing. They’ve all pulled out their phones, and started scrolling, texting, or playing. There’s a ton of different reasons; maybe they have social anxiety, or maybe they’re really invested in clash of clans, or maybe they’re just really popular and have to answer lots of texts and emails. Regardless of the reason, these are all examples of the prevalence that mobile has in the modern world. Mobile has become one of the leading ways to access new information, being more popular than even desktop. Whether through a smartphone, a smartwatch, or a tablet, users are accessing the web and doing their shopping on the go, making purchases on the whim when motivated by word of mouth and advertising. This handy infographic shows some excellent statistics regarding mobile, and is definitely worth a look. Some takeaways:

  • More than eighty percent of smartphone purchases are spontaneously made, meaning that they’re more open to new discoveries.
  • More than half of all smartphone users use their phones for mobile shopping, and sixty percent of smartphone users expect to make most of their purchases this year on mobile.

Take a moment to think about that last one. Of the 1.2 billion people across the world accessing the internet from their smartphones, more than half are making purchases online, with a large number of these being spontaneous. That means that there’s more people impulsively purchasing products on their smartphones than there are people living in Canada! Mobile is a booming market, with tons of room still to expand. Smartphones are still in their infancy stages, having really only existed for about twenty years. Compare that to the hundreds of years that conventional marketing has had to develop, and you instantly realize that mobile is going to grow very much very fast, and you better hope that your business is equipped to deal with it.

How to Approach Mobile:

Desktop is simple. Desktop means the consumer is sitting behind a laptop or computer, usually at their home or office. It’s simple to identify what the consumer is likely doing at that moment, giving you insight into their mindset and shopping habits. Mobile is completely different. Mobile can be used to access the web from anywhere, meaning that a consumer might decide to do some shopping at any given point in the day. This makes it nearly impossible to figure out what mindset they’re in, and what kind of shopping experience they’re looking for. For this reason, the mobile experience needs to be extremely fluid. It should satisfy the needs of any potential consumer who comes across it, while being informative and convincing enough that they’ll go ahead with the purchase. So how do you ‘do’ mobile? Planning for a wide range of devices, screen sizes, and technological specifications can be challenging. Follow these tips to get your business started with mobile!

Study the numbers:

How much of your data is already mobile? Not sure? Google’s analytic tool is here to save the day! We’ve mentioned this analytic tool before in the context of desktop site analysis, but it’s equally as helpful in dealing with mobile. Whether you have a mobile site, responsive site, or neither, this tool is a great place to start in order to know what you have to work on. It can analyze whether you have too much or too little text on each page, how optimized each page is for speed, and how well the site will perform when viewed on mobile. Most importantly, this analytics tool will show you where the bulk of your web traffic comes from. Regardless of how high it is, you should definitely be thinking about bolstering your mobile strategy.

Mobile sites are great, but they’re limited to being viewable only on mobile. It’s great for delivering information when there’s limited space, yet you don’t want to sacrifice content, depth, and quality. It delivers a user experience that’s not shrunk down, but is built for a smaller screen size. But it can be difficult to maintain both a mobile and a desktop site. For the desktop site you need less pages, while the mobile site may need more. If not optimized correctly, information can become difficult to find, and may affect your conversions. Responsive design is a solution that emerged several years ago, meant to remedy the problem of viewing content in different scenarios. Now, this isn’t something that you can do alone, unless you have extensive knowledge in web design. Having one site contort itself for different viewing angles is extremely difficult, and requires professional knowledge of online design and marketing. The goal isn’t to have text chunks spread across the site viewable on desktop on mobile. It’s to have a site that is equally laid out on mobile and desktop, with text that’s not overwhelming and is easy to understand.

Clear Method of Contact:

A small screen is not the ideal place to be filling in long contact forms, or fumbling to find a number or email to call. When a consumer needs to reach you, their frustration clock starts ticking. The more time that it takes them to find your number, and to get in touch with you, the more aggravated they’ll be once they actually reach you. Your phone number should be clearly displayed on the homepage, so that consumers have no problem calling you. If you operate a physical storefront, driving directions should be on your contact page, and should ideally link directly into Google Maps. Any forms that you require the consumer to fill out should be as short as possible, and even better, should immediately subscribe them to your email feed or loyalty program. When you’re calculating your conversions, you should keep track of which consumers found your business through mobile, and of how exactly they found your mobile site to be. Their satisfaction is your main concern, so make sure to work for it! Mobile is taking over the world, and whoever’s not running with it, is going to be left in the dust. A website that’s designed for desktop only sales is missing out on half of all potential sales! It just doesn’t make sense to avoid mobile, because it has so many benefits to offer your business. Visuals are better suited for mobile, with text being used for clarification purposes only. Look at the way that users are engaging with smartphones; videos, pictures, infographics – these are all modern methods of marketing, and the time that they take to learn is well worth the output that they provide. So start working on you mobile marketing strategy today, and get on board a trend that’s here to stay.

Bio:  Ari Rush is President of Rush Ventures, a Toronto SEO and digital marketing agency. Prior to Rush Ventures, Ari led a marketing technology company, which helped more than 1,500 clients generate online traffic. Earlier in his career, Ari founded an online telecommunications firm, which he sold to a private equity group based out of Arizona. Ari has lectured at places such as Ryerson University and BizLaunch, one of the largest small business training companies in North America.