As the future grows digital, the smartphone is increasingly becoming the device of choice.
Particularly for digital native millennials and Gen-Z shoppers, a mobile-first approach has become a norm when accessing all kinds of material, whether it be commercial, educational, or social.
In fact, 68.1% of all website visits in 2020 came from mobile, an uptick from the 63.3% in 2019.
Leveraging this rapidly expanding domain requires more than simply optimizing digital resources for mobile. Instead, brands must build a mobile-first experience for their customers.
So what exactly is a mobile-first strategy?
Being mobile-first refers to an organization’s decision to shape their business with mobile users as the priority. When you focus on a mobile-first strategy, you prioritize your businesses’ mobile app and mobile web capabilities over desktop.
While a mobile-first approach appears to be simple enough, its frontiers are quite vast, with tremendous potential to redefine the way we consume goods and services.
Building a mobile strategy that addresses these key problems requires a laser-sharp focus on three areas.
1. Mobile App
As mobile commerce reaches new levels of maturity, simply relying on mobile responsive design is insufficient for a true state-of-the-art mobile-first strategy. Mobile shopping apps, then, become necessary.
A 2019 study found that mobile apps led to significantly higher conversion rates of over 150% more than mobile-optimized websites as they minimized consumers’ barriers to purchase by reducing the number of taps to browse and checkout.
Research also suggests that users spend up to 7x more time on native apps than on mobile browsers. This increases the potential for customer loyalty through apps.
2. Loading Speed
Mobile users are impatient.
For digitally native shoppers, a mobile-first user experience means that no page takes more than a handful of seconds to load. Its absence is unacceptable enough for them to leave in favor of another brand with a better mobile experience.
Hence, loading speed is an important criteria to consider while designing a mobile experience.
Take the bridesmaid dress retailer Revelry, for instance. The business realized the massive impact of loading speeds when it redesigned its e-commerce site on an updated version of its e-commerce platform.
As page loads got 43% faster, the site’s bounce rates (shoppers leaving a page without any activity) fell by 8% site-wide and 37% on particular category pages. Conversions increased by 30%.
3. Social Commerce
Social media now plays a significant role in commerce, with companies using it to create engaging, interactive mobile-first strategies to increase sales, engage with, and build relationships with customers, promote brand awareness and loyalty, and develop greater customer insights.
Conversely, significant numbers of customers find social media to be a meaningful way to interact with their favorite brands.
One study highlights that 58% of consumers found it more engaging to connect with a brand or company on social media than to visit their physical store.
The 5 Mobile-First Trends Dominating the Domain
It’s not surprising to find that mobile-first strategies are often used in relation to design and development.
However, driving a cross-organizational mobile-first mindset involves much more than that.
In fact, the pandemic-induced adoption of mobile devices, coupled with rapidly intensifying consumer spending behavior, pushed even more businesses to reinvent themselves in a world where the “always on” consumer has become a global reality.
Companies, irrespective of the sector, must make use of emerging trends to cater to a growing audience of mobile-minded consumers.
1. Integrating Mobile into Physical Experiences
When it comes to crossing over from digital into physical experiences, the mobile is the most convenient bridging device.
For brands with a brick-and-mortar presence, delivering a mobile-first experience means aligning mobile shopping with in-store experience for enhanced customer experience and success.
QR codes, geo-fenced SMS coupons, mobile-enabled in-store checkouts are some methods for such integration.
2. One-Click Checkout
Customers are much more likely to abandon shopping carts if the checkout process is long and complicated.
Simplified checkouts can significantly reduce friction for customers and increase conversions for businesses.
Voice is rapidly growing into a popular method for searching and shopping.
According to 2019 estimates, 51% of all online shoppers in the US used voice assistance to help them research products.
Voice can be a powerful medium for companies to employ mobile-first mindset since it features prominently in post-checkout processes such as tracking packages, leaving reviews or ratings, and repurchasing items.
In other words, companies would miss out on several points of functionality by failing to integrate voice into their mobile customer experience.
4. VR and AR
Virtual reality and augmented reality technologies offer significant opportunities for digitizing product experiences and giving customers a chance to virtually try out products before purchase.
Such virtual methods are gaining in popularity for the increased safety and convenience they offer.
IKEA and Warby Parker are two good examples of simple but effective AR capabilities, letting customers visualize how a piece of furniture would look in a room or how spectacle frames would look on a customer’s face.
5. Mobile Payments
Mobile payments are increasingly popular for both online and in-store payments.
The Global Payments Report by Worldpay shows how mobile payments accounted for 44.5% of all e-commerce transactions in 2020, double the proportion of credit cards and three times that of debit cards.
Mobile payments are growing in popularity because they significantly improve security as well as convenience.
Doubling Down on CX
Delivering exceptional customer experiences is tricky under any circumstances.
But with digitization changing every industry and sector, CX has become the key differentiator for brands to match the rising customer expectations.
So whether it is payments, messaging, or accessing a product, customers expect a mobile-first experience when they engage with a brand.
Considering the expanding role of smartphones in our lives, it is now an imperative for businesses to make use of mobile-first strategies to reach more customers than before and help them find ways to stick with them.
This article gives you just a slice of information about the changing landscape of customer experience.
For a deeper view of the space, we have put together a comprehensive CxO guide with all the information you would need to manage, strategize, and measure your CX efforts.
Click here to download the CxO guide now!