Think Mobile First; Your Customers Already Do

Posted by Taylor Haney on Tue, Feb 17, 2015

As we get closer to our upcoming MITX eCommerce Summit we are excited to share a few more guest blog posts with you in the coming weeks. Catch up on what's hot in the eCommerce world and join us on March 3rd for our full-day summit. This post by Gordon Plutsky, VP, Marketing at Digital Bungalow discusses the important of mobile to your eCommerce strategy.

Gordon Plutsky 2015Gordon Plutsky (@Gordon Plutsky) partners with Digital Bungalow clients on their digital marketing and content strategies. He is also an adjunct instructor for marketing in the Endicott College MBA program.

In 2014, worldwide mobile traffic eclipsed desktop traffic for the first time, and it’s a trend that will only continue. Today, having a mobile site isn’t enough; you have to have a great native mobile experience. If not, potential customers are going to your competition instead. According to predictive marketing software firm Custora, one out of four (24.5%) online purchases during the 2014 holiday season was done via mobile platform, up from 18.6% last year. Native apps are currently getting the lion’s share of this activity, which is not feasible for every online retailer, especially small and local businesses. In fact, the tide may be turning towards the mobile web. Below is from Mobile Marketer:

“As shoppers become increasingly comfortable on mobile, they are demanding more detailed experiences, leading to a growing preference for retailers’ mobile Web sites over applications, according to a new report from Siteworx.

Retailers that do not offer detail-oriented mobile Web sites are at risk of losing commerce, as 63 percent of consumers are more likely to shop using a site rather than a mobile application. The findings suggest investing in an all-encompassing mobile site is imperative for retailers seeking to retain significant market share, as more shoppers are using mobile to research potential purchases and read reviews.”

Digital Bungalow Blog

Shopping is an omni-channel experience, and brands must optimize their purchasing options to fit customers’ needs. More importantly, all channels must work cohesively with each other. With that in mind, it is imperative for retailers to think mobile first when it comes to their online sales. Mobile may be used to research, check reviews, or drive traffic to the desktop site or physical store location. Or, the conversion may happen on mobile. The key is giving the consumer good options, which starts with a solid web design.

In mobile first design and development, you begin by designing for the smallest screen—the phone—and then progressively enhancing the experience, rather than starting with the biggest screen—the desktop—and then trying to gracefully degrade down to smaller screen sizes. From a development perspective, mobile first means optimizing page weight for mobile users, and then adding to them for tablets and desktops. For designers, it allows you to serve what’s most important to the consumer journey. When designers start with the desktop design and then take away features to fit on mobile, it often results in a poor experience and less conversions. Creating a mobile first site has repeatedly been shown to drive lower bounce rates, higher conversion rates, and greater sales.

The change in consumer behavior means online retailers have to take a hard look at their mobile strategy. With half of web traffic and emails views coming from mobile devices, it makes sense for your site to be mobile optimized. If not, all of your hard earned clicks will turn into dead ends, and once potential customers will likely never come back.