Mobile is shaking things up, it’s no longer about going online, it is about being online, and organizations need to understand how this is impacting their business. Forward-looking organizations that have embraced mobile are reaping the benefits of increased revenue, customer satisfaction and invaluable benefits to the brand.
The increased demand for websites optimized for multi-screens is being driven by the rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets. Canadians in particular are global leaders, and at the end of 2012 Canada had over 62% smartphone penetration. In 2013 implementing a multi-screen strategy for your business may or may not be your top priority, but it should be.
Many companies recognize mobile is growing but they may still be grappling with how to best manage a multitude of digital channels—and mobile appears to be one more. What many companies fail to recognize is investing in a multi-screen strategy is a win-win situation that provides an opportunity for targeted marketing, innovation, engagement experiences, and it can bolster a brand.
Consider what makes some of the leading brands great–consistency across all interactions, relevancy, differentiation, and an unparalleled commitment to customer needs. Apple relentlessly focuses on the customer experience, innovation and an unmatched aesthetic beauty. Disneyworld keeps their bathrooms sparkling clean; although, they know it isn’t what people come for, it certainly contributes to the experience. Not every touch-point is a profit centre, but it is the complete experience that surprises and delights customers and gives them a reason to keep coming back.
Being mobile or multi-screen ready affects your brand because it comes down to the impression you are making with your customer. Consumers aren’t sitting around thinking about whether your site is mobile friendly, but they certainly are aware when it is not. A Google survey showed that “48% of mobile users felt if a site didn’t perform well on their smartphones it made them feel as though the company didn’t care about their business.” Moreover, “50% of those users stated that even if they liked a business, they will use them less often if the website isn’t mobile-friendly.”
A website with limited or poor functionality delivered on a tablet or smartphone, is more than likely than not frustrating your customer and slowly but surely chipping away at your brand. In addition to hampering your brand, a website not optimized for mobile screens may not make the cut when searched for by consumers. Search engines are delivering results to consumers based on the device they are using. If you haven’t optimized your organizations website for multi-screen devices you won’t even get a chance to to make an impression.
Consumers want value and relevancy and they appreciate ways in which companies are making things easier for them. If a company hits it out of the park, they’ll tell their friends….and so on and so on. So, if “68% of all searches start on a smartphone” do you want to risk making a less than stellar impression with a potential customer, or worse have them go to a competitor?
Since 67 percent of users claim they are more likely to purchase from a mobile-friendly website, companies that rely on SEO are wise to move to mobile-friendly websites, and responsive web design specifically.
But if you get it right, it can pay off in spades—some financial institutions have won over their customers simply by giving customers what they want. Mobile banking provided an on-the-go option for customers and in doing so, the banks had to streamline the design. The changes made have proven so popular that Forrester Reports predict mobile banking will displace online banking because technologies like smartphone apps let customers perform simple tasks more quickly and easily than on a desktop.
Being great on the desktop just isn’t good enough anymore. Customers want to be able to do it ‘all’ from their mobile device, and no longer are consumers enamored with the pinch and zoom feature that provided a short-term fix to ‘mobile access.’ Getting it right and implementing a multi-screen strategy is smart business—it opens avenues for ecommerce, it improves the customer experience, it can improve engagement, and in an environment where everything can be shared your brand loyalists can market for you.
Remember, a brand can compensate for a less than optimal experience for a short while, but it is not impervious for the long haul. In today’s market, the value of a brand is increasingly owned by a company’s customer. Organizations should make sure they don’t give their customers a reason to go elsewhere.
For those organizations considering a mobile strategy, or deepening their current offering, the time is now. Organizations can’t control what device people are going to use so companies need to be proactive and develop for any scenario. Smartphones and tablet adoption isn’t slowing, and Google predicts in 2013 more than half of website visits will come from mobile devices rather than desktops or laptops. Chances are your site is being viewed on a mobile device right now—the question is, what impression is your organization making?