The future’s bright… and it’s mobile.
In the past 5 years, smartphone ownership has doubled – over 76% of the UK population now own one. Last year, for the first time ever, smartphones overtook the laptop as the most popular device for getting online. As these devices become more embedded in our daily lives, it has become more important than ever to deliver a mobile-first approach: a brand’s mobile site can no longer be an afterthought or simply a ‘stripped-down’ version of the desktop site.
With the ever-growing trend in dual-screening on a smartphone whilst watching television, mobile often offers the first user-driven point of contact with a brand; it is difficult to come back from a bad first impression: 70% of people would not buy from a company with a badly designed website. Users now expect the same quality of experience across all platforms, and mobile is arguably the most crucial to get right.
Mobile functionality is vitally important, but savvy brands are now using mobile as a personalised platform to reach their customers. While PCs are generally shared between a household, mobiles have one primary user and whilst all members of a family may be interested in a site, their specific preferences within the site are individual to them. The use of mobile allows brands to benefit from this behaviour by customising the user experience, based on their previous behaviour and preferences (something which is not as easy when there are multiple device users).
While mobile web audiences are fast growing, 90% of the time that consumers spend on their mobile occurs within apps. The app allows for an even more personalised experience, more similar to being in a store.
Brands can use the app to remind customers that they’re there, by sending push notifications if they have abandoned items in their basket, or when they expect the user to be in the market to repurchase. They can use location services to send users offers or incentives, based on where they are and what they are doing outside of the app and the mobile world. These can serve to bridge the gap between online and offline behaviour.
Although the majority of time is spent in-app, this time is generally spent in a small number of favourite apps and loyalty is hard to earn. In this age of instant access, users want content now and downloading an app takes time: a typical process would involve the user searching on a browser, clicking an ad, being redirected to the app store, waiting for the app to download, and potentially signing-up or in once it has downloaded. This allows more scope for users to get bored or look elsewhere for what they want. Google is working to combat this: it currently allows users to be directed from their mobile web search to a pre-installed app. It also allows for deep-linking, where users are directed to a specific page within the app which is the most relevant to the search. Google are also trialling going further than this with ‘app streaming’. This would allow users to stream an app from the Google cloud platform, enabling an app experience but with none of the download restrictions.While this is very much still in its infancy, and would be very expensive to fully roll out, if implemented it would make the consumer experience so much more fluid.
The world of mobile can be daunting: it is incredibly fast moving, but in the world we live in now it is imperative that brands get it right and don’t fall behind the competition.
That’s why it’s important to have an agency with experience in how these things work together, and how best to utilise the tools available.
If you want to find out more about how optimising for mobile can help you, why not give us a call?
Sources: Ofcom, Deloitte, Marketing Week, Tune, The Drum, OnePoll on behalf of BaseKit, Pew Research Center.