The digital winds of change are a-blowing and a mobile-only future is within sight. As consumers rely more and more on their mobile devices for news, entertainment and social interaction, it’s difficult to envision a future without e-commerce going completely mobile as well.
In fact, it’s already happening. According to comScore, a renowned digital analytics firm, Americans spend more than half of their online shopping time (56 percent) on mobile devices. In a similarly minded study by the CMO Council and SAS, today about 90 percent of consumers move between an average of three different screens/devices to search products and, ultimately, complete transactions. That’s a lot of touchpoints that need to be seamlessly connected.
On the down side, according to the same CMO-SAS research, only 16 percent of companies strongly believe they’re equipped to handle users’ growing mobile needs. Undoubtedly, we’ll see this number turn around as time goes on, but for now there are ways to adapt and other things to consider.
The Shift in the Digital Landscape
It’s constantly changing — especially for businesses. Like companies that had to cope with the early 2000s internet bonanza, today’s online organizations must also shape-shift with the times, and with ever-changing (aka growing) “consumer expectations,” as Rebecca Lieb of iMedia Connection calls it.
That is, the more we can access, the more we want. Where we once had to get home to our desktop to find out more about a product or service, now all we need to do is simply reach into our pockets. Everything is there — the product itself, customer reviews, cheaper deals, similar recommendations, friends who’ve also purchased. The list goes on. The white noise is deafening.
Online businesses must cut through the static in order to succeed. And that’s exactly why it would behoove the remaining 84 percent of businesses to rethink current business models; engineer entirely new, clean, intuitive mobile user experiences; and unearth ways to stay relevant with loyal, returning customers and new ones alike.
Cutting Through the Clutter
As you could imagine, it’s imperative that you stand out in this charged landscape. From creative, branded app ideas to easy-access mobile internet buying experiences and an enhanced social media presence, separating yourself from the pack must be — and remain — a priority.
For example, let’s take look at Charmin. The renowned toilet paper brand created Sit or Squat — a simple, super-relevant app that pinpoints your location and guides you to local public restrooms. Each restroom even includes customer reviews, so you know what you’re getting into. Think Yelp! for bathrooms. They saw an opportunity to help (and collaborate) with consumers, took a chance and ran with it. If nothing else, they’ve built brand awareness. And that’s more than many brands can say.
All in all, the key is convenience, ease-of-use, which leads nicely into the next point.
Content, Content, Content
One constant through all of this change is the importance of content. As they say, it is King.
Without fail, content remains a driving force behind successful UX, digital and mobile strategy. As Lieb succinctly says in her iMedia Connection article: “Mobile means providing content in form factors native to mobile devices and intuitive to users; swiping, for example, rather than keyboard inputs.” Quite simply, make it as easy as possible.
As Lieb also alludes, this is precisely why apps such as Instagram and Tumblr have gained great mobile popularity. They’re almost entirely visual. Look, maybe press a button or two, swipe. That’s it. Only rarely do you actually need to type within these platforms, or listen to the occasional audio clip. On small-size screens, anything more gets contrived.
After all, there’s only so much space.