Friday, August 10, 2012

Make mobile integral to your website optimisation strategy

Smaller screens, limited functionality, lagging conversion rates... these are all reasons digital marketers and web teams attribute mobile with the position of the poor cousin of desktop. But it’s a big mistake to do so.

Whether you are just starting out on your mobile strategy or you have had one in place for a while, one thing that we know is that mobile is growing fast. And this means you will need an approach to optimisation. 
Yet as recently as November 2011, research found 70% of companies have yet to launch an optimised mobile site. Considering that 59% of UK consumers own a smartphone and 19% of those have shopped online using a mobile web browser, the growing influence of mobile on the shopping experience should not be ignored.

Your mobile customers are the same as your desktop customers

Your approach to mobile can actually be quite simple: stop focussing on the limitations of mobile devices and focus on the new opportunities that mobile can bring to your online business.
Critically, these opportunities will only be fully realised when mobile is integrated into your overall customer experience optimisation and not treated separately. For your desktop website, it is likely you are focusing on optimising both transactions and customer relationships, improving conversions and building brand loyalty. This should not be any different for a mobile site. 
Consumers will increasingly expect the relationship they have developed with your brand through your desktop site to carry straight over to mobile. So this means delivering the same level of service and quality experience when they interact via their smartphone as you do if they access your site on their laptop or desktop computer. 

The technicalities

With the technology available to optimise your mobile presence, the perceived limitations of mobile do not need to be a barrier. No doubt the topics of mobile load times, network latency and device performance will be raised but they should not be a concern in an optimisation context. 
Of course, testing and optimisation on your mobile site needs to be appropriate to that platform, for example, injecting a whole lot of new content onto a page would take far too long. But this doesn’t mean you can’t be sophisticated. The technology is lightweight, which means your mobile optimisation doesn’t have to be. 
Our own multivariate testing solutions are designed to be light even in their web iterations, as they are based on a single line of JavaScript. That said, the design of the tests is fundamentally important too, as you will be delivering alternative content to the mobile browser, which is just as likely to cause latency as the integration.  

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