The days of Adobe Flash are over and more people are surfing the web from a mobile device like the iPhone, Android, or even a Blackberry. When someone visits your website from a mobile device, and can’t get the information they want, they will leave quickly never to return. Internet users are fickle, and mobile visitors are impatient. If they can’t get what they want in a hurry, they move on. I can say from experience when trying to view a website from my iPhone I expect to be able to use the site easily. If the sites functions are Adobe Flash based I get pretty annoyed and either move on or resort to a desktop because sometimes it is the only way.
Visit your company website from a smart phone… Are you proud to send your customers there? As technology advances and becomes more ubiquitous, the mobile functionality of your site is quickly becoming just as important as the desktop functionality.
The Goal of Mobile Development
There is a simple goal in developing your mobile sites, create a positive user experience for your customers by enabling them to retrieve the information they want quickly and easily. Building a custom alternative site for your mobile visitors that gives them the information they are looking for in a simple and easy to use format, visitors are going to have a great experience and WANT to do business with you. If your site has Flash, large images or small text and links mobile users will not be able to navigate your site and potential customers move on to your competitors with the mobile friendly site.
The sharp rise in mobile internet browsing is driving an increase in mobile mCommerce and mobile payment processing. As consumers use smart phones more, they become more comfortable making mobile payments. A recent survey showed 1 in 3 consumers age 18 to 23 are likely to make mobile purchases. Many use their financial institutions mobile apps to manage their banking, credit card and other accounts, so making other types of payments is not really new territory. Mobile payments can be solicited in a variety of ways including e-invoices, QR codes on invoices or having your website auto-detect mobile visitors and redirecting them to your mobile enabled website.
Google’s pilot program “Google Wallet” and other companies are also working with NFC (Near Field Communications) to enable point of sale mobile payments further expanding the use of mobile devices to accept payments. This type of technology will further main stream mobile payments and enhance retailer opportunities for digital engagement and sales.
Recently our team has started planning our next scenario paintball event with our client Hot Shots Paintball. In order to boost pre-registration for our event we put QR codes on all of our print marketing materials and directed users to a mobile registration form with a payment option. Just this small change has boosted our pre-registration by 40% compared with our last 2 events.
Directions & Contact Information
Your customers may just be visiting your website to find your location or contact information and your website should be able to communicate this key information to your clients from any device. Most smart phones will automatically detect contact information like addresses and phone numbers and link them directly to your map app or phone app. Deliberately building these types of links into the mobile version of your website will ensure everyone will see your website correctly no matter what kind of device they visit from. If you are a retail business depending on customers coming to your store, you need to make it as easy as possible for people to find you and mobile websites are a great tool.
QR Codes & Promotions
Working with retail stores, financial services companies and banks we have developed QR Code campaigns to engage in-store customers online via custom mobile website and social networks. Campaigns can range from stickers, fliers, banners, signs and even scavenger hunts. Through these campaigns we have generated thousands of mobile visits each month for our clients and expanded their social network profiles exponentially.
QR codes can be a great promotional tool, but if they don’t lead to a mobile enabled web page they are a complete waste. QR codes must lead a user to the useful information they are looking for, but they also have to read the information on the device they used to scan your code.
Creating a good mobile experience for your users can help you to drive customer engagement online and through social networks. If your website can’t be used from a mobile device you are only hurting yourself and driving away internet traffic that came all the way to your website and was driven away by a bad experience.