3 Things Every Retailer Should Know About Mobile Visitors
Even as smartphones, tablets and wearables become ubiquitous aspects of consumers’ daily lives, digital marketers continue to struggle to figure mobile out. Doubtless, you've probably already heard a lot of advice around mobile and the best ways to approach and utilize it. So this post won't list "it's harder to type on mobile devices" or "apps are better for mobile marketing." You already know the former, and the latter isn't always true (but you'll find these ideas on tons of marketing sites anyway). That said, there are things you should strive to know about mobile visitors, and with the right mind-set and tools, they'll allow you to really focus on what matters.
1. Behaviors vary on mobile devices; don't rely on best practices. If there's one thing you can do to improve mobile experiences, or digital experiences in general, it's this: follow the math. Don't use responsive web design (RWD) because it's trendy. Don't build a mobile version because it's all the rage or because it's best practice. Take the unsexy path: review your data.
Google Analytics, Site Catalyst, KISSMetrics or any of a dozen quantitative tools, free and paid, can dissect smartphone, tablet, laptop and desktop traffic. That's a critical first step. You need to check which pages are being used most by mobile users, and then compare those to the pages being used by desktop and laptop visitors.
- If mobile users are trying to find contact information more, consider putting that front and center for them if you have a mobile version, and review what it would take your infrastructure to implement click to call.
- If mobile users are accessing certain navigation paths more often, use that data to prioritize which items should get visual prioritization.
- If the top areas are largely the same, then you can investigate costs for RWD.
A lot of businesses go directly to the "react" phase using best practices, but best practices only work well within a specific context. Figure out what your context is. Collect data. Observe. Analyze. Then you can react.
Tim Ash is the author of the bestselling book Landing Page Optimization, and CEO of SiteTuners. A computer scientist and cognitive scientist by education (his PhD studies were in Neural Networks and Artificial Intelligence), Tim has developed an expertise in user-centered design, persuasion and understanding online behavior, and landing page testing. In the mid-1990s he became one of the early pioneers in the discipline of website conversion rate optimization. Over the past 15 years, Tim has helped a number of major US and international brands to develop successful web-based initiatives. Companies like Google, Expedia, Kodak, eHarmony, Facebook, American Express, Canon, Nestle, Symantec, Intuit, AutoDesk and many others have benefitted from Tim's deep understanding and innovative perspective.
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