Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Is Your Web Site Optimized for Mobile Devices?

Many people are highly dependent of their mobile devices for every day interactions, including mobile commerce. Our society is becoming highly mobile and connected. In the latest Shop.org and Forrester Research Mobile Commerce Survey, it's estimated that U.S. smartphone commerce will grow to $31 billion by 2016.

Those organizations that can best serve mobile customers will have an advantage in the competition. With a surge in mobile traffic comes the added potential to connect with and sell to customers through mobile commerce. Having a concrete mobile infrastructure plan and strategy is no longer an option, as it had been in recent years, but rather a must to compete in any customer-facing situation.

But despite this upward trajectory, retailers and other consumer-oriented companies still express some hesitancy about investing in multi-device environments. There is still some apprehension by companies, when it comes to moving forward with mobile planning. Companies still struggle to maintain uniformity across multiple device experiences when there are various screen sizes, operating systems, hardware specifications, and loading speeds to consider. One fear is that of the unknown, but security, data management, and simply proving a use case and subsequent return on investment are concerns as well.

The key issue in smartphone shopping continues to be the form factor, which can make navigation more difficult for customers. In addition to slower page load times on smartphones, some customers are concerned about the security of the transaction or simply complain that the experience just is not the same.

A successful mobile experience, like many other customer experiences, is about fulfilling customers' needs. First-time users of a mobile site or app tend to be less satisfied with their mobile experiences than frequent users because of their lack of familiarity with layouts, navigation, and functionality according to the survey of the mobile users. Knowing the different kinds of mobile devices customers use is critical. It is pertinent to develop a strategy that encompasses all types of customer scenarios.

Before embarking on any one mobile strategy, it is important to learn how your company's customers most likely would use their mobile devices. In addition to enabling customers to interact how they wish, any company looking to optimize its mobile presence must naturally consider the effects on the business as well, and how mobile usage will impact other lines of business and cross-channel marketing efforts.

In addition to justifying a use case and ROI for mobile, companies that wish to get into the mobile side of business must be aware of its limitations. Under ideal circumstances, companies want to engage with their customers and cultivate a one-to-one relationship while taking into consideration CANSPAM and privacy regulations. It is very important to adjust taxonomy and information architecture for the mobile experience. A lot of searches are made using mobile devices, so search also has to be optimized.

Optimizing your mobile site or developing a native application is no simple task. There are security considerations, as well as device-specific functions, to consider. Don't take a cookie-cutter approach. Some companies make the mistake of simply cloning online information without considering that consumer behavior on the mobile phone is dramatically different. Justify mobile ROI with consumer insight.

Consider security. Create a military-grade security infrastructure, while maintaining user-friendly design. Hire the best user interaction designer to design the security setup interaction.

Utilize mobile wisely. Once someone has discovered your brand through search, referral, or a marketing message, and they download the app, this may indicate a loyal customer. The app can be a great way to maximize and monetize that loyal relationship because it's in a controlled environment.

Galaxy Consulting has experience optimizing information architecture and search for mobile devices. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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