It’s not news that mobile use is increasing by the day. This past Christmas, a whopping 9 million tablets were activated on Christmas Day alone, along with another 8 million smartphones on the same day. (For comparitive purposes, 4 million tablets and smartphones combined are activated on an average day.)
As a brand, this means two things for you. First, your customers are increasingly using mobile devices when not only looking for information about your brand, but also when poised to make a purchasing decision. While some research has indicated that customers prefer to look up information via a PC, this isn’t always feasible – and as more customers activate these tablets and smartphones, they are likely going to shift that preference as they discover the convenience of sitting on their couch with a tablet, instead of a bulky laptop – or even hunched over their desk away from the rest of their family and friends. Instead, customers will increasingly be using mobile devices while at home, commuting, and even at the office (especially if corporate firewalls prevent access to their favorite websites – including yours.) As customers start preferring mobile devices over PC’s, they will want to be able to use websites – such as yours – the same way as they have in the past. This includes browsing content, saving information, and of course, making purchases.
That said, people are still going to keep using PC’s for now and so your site should be primarily optimized for desktop use. As mobile adoption continues to increase, though, your site should also be responsive for your mobile customers. You’ll want to think about your navigation. Your images. Your buttons. You’ll want to think about the way customers will want to interact with your content to help persuade them to make a decision.
And then you’ll want to think about how simple it will be for someone on their smartphone or tablet to actually make that purchase. How easy is it for returning customers to sign in? Has your website integrated with Google Wallet? Filling out forms on mobile devices can be a hassle. Reducing this pain can help generate more leads, conversions, and/or sales – whatever your goal is.
The second thing to consider amidst this rise in mobile adoption is the reality that advertising is no longer desktop-centric. The average smartphone user has over 60 apps – many of which feature in-app advertising. Is your brand taking advertising inside mobile apps seriously? In-app advertising can generate both revenue and leads for companies which utilize the feature, and those who take advantage of this opportunity now will have a significant edge over their competitors.
Considering your mobile customers will – and should – involve your entire company. The increase of mobile adoption is shifting the entire demographic set of those who search, compare, and shop retail online (and use the internet in general.) It’s critical everyone in your business knows who your customers really are – and who they may be in the future. Realizing the need to not only optimize your website for mobile users is not enough. You truly need to know who your customers are – and then address your mobile strategy accordingly.
In addition to writing about emerging news and trends in the performance marketing industry, she is a columnist for Forbes, covering the intersection of technology and society. She can be can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, or her personal blog... and usually with a cup of coffee in hand, too.