4 Best Practices for Creating Winning Mobile Experiences
Ready or not, every consumer-facing company today needs to be mobile. Having a mobile presence is not enough, however. Brands need to have a presence on mobile. The most successful marketers are those who understand how to design and package mobile content in a way that enhances usability. Given limitations in screen size, bandwidth and users’ attention spans, mobile marketers have to balance form and function to help users achieve their goals with as little friction in the process as possible. Below are four best practices for a winning mobile experience:
1. Be informative. Just because the screen is smaller doesn't mean that content should be left out. For example, when displaying a product page, key information such as product specs and customer ratings lessens the chance for the consumer to hop to a different site for research. This also speeds up the consumer's ability to make a purchase decision. Another way of being informative on mobile is to alert the time-crunched user as to how long it might take to read an article or view a video. The New York Times displays an estimated read time for stories.
2. Be helpful. Don't stop at the basics; anticipate what users will need. Suggesting complementary items within a fashion product detail page like Mango's "Complete Your Outfit" feature provides the shopper with stylish recommendations and drives additional sales. Giving an option to ship-to-store for free, as Hot Topic does, and embedding a map of the nearest store location boosts the likelihood of transaction.
3. Be time saving. Include features that condense tasks or offer suggestions. One useful strategy that's rare for mobile but typical for desktop is saved searches. Typing the same phrases over and over on a tiny keyboard isn't only a hassle, it bogs down the shopping process. Perusing product listings pages, especially for retailers with a lot of inventory, can be a huge time-suck for the consumer. Publishing more items per row diminishes scrolling time and helps the shopper find what they want faster. Nordstrom has mastered this, featuring three items per row as well as customer star ratings on its listing pages.
4. Be dazzling. The first iPhone launched less than a decade ago — there's still a lot of room to think outside the box and wow users. One form of content rarely shown on mobile today are videos of people modeling apparel on product pages, a tactic ASOS uses to great effect via its "Catwalk" video launch button. In addition, the "Checkmate" mobile deposit capability on Capital One's native app is a game changer. No need to use up precious break time from work to get on those long banking lines anymore!
What are some tips you're employing to create a killer mobile experience for your customers? Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comment section below.
Eric Feinberg is the senior director of product strategy at Answers, the parent company of Answers.com and a provider of cloud-based voice-of-customer solutions. He's an adjunct professor of mobile marketing at the University of California, Irvine Extension and elected board member of the Digital Analytics Association (DAA).