In 2014, we passed the mobile tipping point. There are now more people who own a mobile device in the world than a desktop computer. And that gap is growing fast. Americans spend more than 60% of their online time on a mobile device today (Comscore 2015). These numbers are important for your business. Last week I was in Barcelona, Spain for Mobile World Congress (MWC), the largest event of it’s kind. IBM invited me to the conference to talk about mobile innovation, #IBMMobile, and how businesses are coping with an increasingly mobile first world. Everyone who is anyone in mobile was there, from hardware and software companies to the top innovators of app design. More and more of your business is being done on mobile. The way you communicate with your audience. The way your audience finds you. The way they use your product or service. The way they buy it. The more people I talked to in Barcelona, the more I realized these innovations are making your business better. But there is still a lot we can all improve.
Are you ready for the NEXT big mobile trend?
The mobile tipping point was just the beginning. Your audience wants easy, convenient access to your business. In fact, one rapidly growing audience is the newly “mobile only” consumer. 1 in 5 millennials no longer uses a desktop device to access the internet. They are mobile only. The one thing I saw over and over at MWC, is that most businesses are nowhere close to being ready for that. When your customer cannot get the same content or service through mobile that they get through desktop or as easily as they do on a desktop device, they get frustrated. This hurts your relationship with them. Here’s my challenge for you. Review all the major mobile touch points you have with your audience.
The Mobile Only Checklist
This list is a starting point. Your specific digital presence is unique and your business is unique. But ask yourself these questions to help gauge where you stand today:
- Website: Is your main website mobile responsive?
- Email: Are your marketing and product emails easy to ready on mobile?
- Social: Does your social media strategy work for the mobile only consumer?
- Customer Service: Can your customer service process be easily managed on mobile?
- Lead Gen: Do your email lead gen forms work well on mobile?
- Shopping: Is your sales and checkout process easy to complete on mobile?
- Product: Can your customers access your product or service easily through mobile?
- Process: Can your employees do their jobs just as well (if not better) from mobile?
Most businesses do better on the items at the top of this list, with a few details missing here and there. As you go down the list, bigger holes emerge. It is still very difficult, for instance, to fill out many lead gen forms and complete a lot of shopping cart checkouts through a mobile device. Number 8, your employee process, is an especially difficult challenge. As you move down the list, the benefit tends to increase as well. At the MWC conference, I saw a demo from IBM on how they helped outfit repair specialists for Coca-Cola with an app that makes their daily repairs much more efficient, saving them time and headache. On a basic level, this increases the happiness and success of your employees. And, equally important, it saves the company money in a significant way.
Most of the items on this checklist are a huge customer service and loyalty opportunity. If your business can create a better mobile eco-system today, especially compared to your competitors, your customer will reward you. Let’s call this the Dominos effect. Dominos has been ahead of their competitors for a while now with online ordering and more recently their app ordering experience. It is such a well designed experience for their customers, that they have seen huge sales increases from loyal app order customers. I think this is easier for businesses that have a service element to their business. I think about the great experience I have when using smartphone apps from companies like Etrade, Hilton, JetBlue and others. I’m more likely to do business with these companies because of how easy their mobile experiences are.
BONUS: Look for the holes in your mobile presence
One of the most annoying mobile experiences I see consistently is logging onto a wifi network at a hotel, conference center, airport, or restaurant. I’d wager that most of the people logging into hotel wifi today are doing it from a mobile device, and 99% of these landing pages are not setup well for mobile. This is an examples of a small detail that slips through the cracks. If you take on the challenge of trying to interact with your business exclusively on mobile for a day or a week, you will find more of these. This may seem like one small pain point for your customer, but it is one they will remember. I took a small poll on Facebook to see what bad experiences others have when trying to interact with businesses online and here were some of the more common responses:
- Issues with video: Video is increasingly important for your business. But on mobile, video presents many problems. Load time, autoplay vides that interrupt a mobile screen by taking it over, long pre-roll video ads that mobile users hate, switching between a video and a browser page, etc.
- Linking to apps: Whether someone wants to share your content on Twitter and Facebook, or click out from one of your links into an app, it is becoming more and more common to go from your website, email and social content directly to an app. But this experience is not always very fun if a business has not given it special attention.
- Bad mobile UI: Many forms and pages where mobile users have to input information are painful on a mobile device. From a simple contact form or lead gen email field to pop-up promotions that take up the whole mobile screen, these experience can kill your customer interactions and conversions.
Fixing mobile pain points are usually things we will get to later. As more of your audience spends time with your business on mobile, “later” is quickly becoming today.