It’s a given that a mobile-friendly website and online presence are essential for business survival today. However, mobile-friendly is no longer enough. Truly successful brands must go further than friendly–by adopting a mobile first mentality. To fuel growth, brands must design their customer experience to go beyond just “working fine” on phones and tablets and ensuring mobile compatibility. Now–your focus must be mobile first. In other words, all marketing and sales activity should be designed and optimized specifically for mobile. Today’s fast-moving markets won’t wait for “mobile as an afterthought.” By adopting mobile first, you’ll get your new business initiatives to market first and can improve search engine visibility. This is the key to differentiating yourself from and outpacing the competition.
Keeping Your Brand Top of Mind in a Mobile-Centric World
Let the most common mobile use cases take precedence. When designing your website layout and functionality, as well as online ads and promotions, make common tasks simple to accomplish on mobile devices. Depending upon your industry and customer demographic, the majority of your customers may interact with your brand only (or primarily) on mobile. So, if using your website to access information or perform crucial tasks takes many more clicks on a phone than it would on a laptop, you can lose business. Customers gravitate toward other brands that design websites with mobile ease-of-use as top priority.
Remember, small screens do not equal small needs. For example: if a customer wants to check the status of an order placed a few days ago, to see if it has shipped and when it will arrive–they should be able to easily accomplish this on their smartphone, on the fly. If the path to check order history or order status is buried on your mobile site, the customer may become frustrated. If the customer cannot get granular detail about the order on their mobile device or phone, that creates a big problem. Your website exists to solve problems–so the customer should not have to take out their laptop to access crucial details about an order. Mobile first web design requires prioritization but resist the urge to strip down functionality.
Scale up rather than down. Design for the tiny screen first, by ruthlessly prioritizing what appears there. Make sure your key functions are simple to do on any mobile device, but also avoid assuming mobile customers won’t need to access certain functions or information. Focus on mobile first design, then add on to accommodate the laptop or desktop customer experience, rather than scaling down a standard website.
Think twice about requiring customers to use an app to accomplish basic tasks. Some customers won’t want to interrupt their web browsing to do business with your brand. There must be a strong incentive to do so, since the customer typically needs to leave the browser, locate (or download) your app on the phone, click and sign in to the app, and navigate through its menu. Although the evolving instant Android apps option can make for a smoother experience, which could become more pervasive in the near future. Focus group or A/B testing is well worthwhile to clearly understand customer preferences and check for abandonment statistics.
If you needed any convincing to go mobile first, and guidance on how to get started, we hope this post has energized you. The time has come when making sure your company website “also works” on mobile devices is no longer sufficient. Don’t let frustration or confusion with your brand’s mobile experience send your clients and prospects away. Use a mobile first mindset to attract and serve customers best, for brand growth and business success. For expert assistance with mobile first design–contact Zero Gravity Marketing today.