February 28, 2012 | The XM Blog

Tips to be Mobiletastic: Part One


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This is the first post in the “Mobiletastic” series by Eric Feinberg, ForeSee’s Senior Director of Mobile, Media & Entertainment.

Our mobile world is maturing at a lightning pace. By every account, the percentage of web traffic accounted for by mobile devices is growing at an astounding pace.

Across industries, I am seeing 10% as the norm: 10% of overall requests to a given company’s web experiences are coming from mobile device requests (including mobile web, apps, and tablets). That means if you have 1 million unique monthly visitors, that’s 100,000 individuals influenced by the experience they are having with your brand on a mobile device.

So…how are you doing? Are you meeting your mobile visitors’ needs? Are you exceeding their expectations? Are you encouraging them to transact with you in other channels like your store or your traditional website? Are they more likely to consume content in other channels that you own like print publications, your website or on your Facebook page? Beyond the occasional, often misleading, anecdotal feedback, do you know? Do you really know?

My goal is to create a better mobile world—for the organizations building and maintaining mobile sites and apps and for the people that use them. In order to do so, we’re sharing our 10 Tips to be Mobiletastic in an upcoming whitepaper. Here are the first two:

Tip #1: Welcome Them to Your Mobile Home

When someone arrives at your fixed/traditional website, we do our best to customize their experience based on their recent visits, their referring URL, their browser, etc. Why not in mobile? I don’t know! We can just as easily ‘welcome them to our mobile homes’ the way we welcome folks into our virtual and real homes.

  • Say hello. If you know them, say hello. Repeat visitors are becoming more and more commonplace. Therefore, when you cookie them, please say hello to them. Amazon.com does a great job of this:

  • Acknowledge them. While most of your mobile visitors will be anonymous to you, there are many, many things you know about them like their device’s operating system, their screen size, and their referring URL. IMDb.com does an great job of acknowledging me even though I had never been there before:

  • Be their guide. I speak with many mobile experience executives that think that since they don’t have the best mobile site that they shouldn’t put anything out there. Wrong! Check this out: Discount Tire does an admirable job guiding people to the 3 main things people want to do on mobile: find a store, see promotions, or look up product information. Sure, you have to visit the full site on the phone to do that. But these few mobile-optimized interstitial pages show that this company gets it:

  • All of the above. Strive to do all of the above but even if you just put up a single mobile-optimized page, you will let your hundreds or thousands or hundreds of thousands of mobile visitors know that you are on the case.

Tip #2: Challenge Convention

Mobile is ripe for creativity. We need to be taking more chances. If you only do the bare minimum, you will be left behind as others innovate and excel. We’ve got fantastic new techniques like touchscreen capabilities, amazingly smaller form factors – with the visitor expectation that you can deliver everything they’ve come to expect from the more traditional web. You need to take chances.

  • Geolocation. By using location-based services like Meijer’s FindIt app, you can track down your favorite wild capers from across the store.  Every single retailer out there should have a different user experience for 3 groups of people: mobile visitors inside their stores, mobile visitors nearby their stores, and everyone else. Bonus points for people that develop the fourth user experience for those in a competitor’s store:

  • Use HTML5 or similar. Like m.ESPN.com and TripAdvisor, using smart layering techniques allows for seemingly magical navigation across and through content:

  • A lot in a little. Anyone who tells me that the form factor is hamstringing them is unimaginative. The folks at m.footballfanatics.com did a brilliant job on challenging convention on their retail confirmation page. Yes, I am a Michigan Wolverine but I had to support my wife’s alma mater:

  • Familiar things in unfamiliar places. Like Crackle.com and ABC’s iPad experiences, you can view great content on your own time. How cool is that? We should all think about how to deliver valuable content and shopping experiences in ways that delight and satisfy consumers:

  • Simple navigation is not better navigation. Just because it is easy to splash identical navigation on mobile sites and apps doesn’t mean it is the best for your visitors. Be specific and creative about your navigational structures. If your navigation looks like this, call me and we’ll talk about what you can do to improve:

That’s Tips #1 & #2. We have 10 total so subscribe to our blog or subscribe to my posts so you don’t miss the rest of this series. You can also post comments below or contact me via email at eric.feinberg@foresee.com. To learn more about how ForeSee is helping companies become mobiletastic, click here.

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About the Author

As a pioneer in customer experience analytics, Verint delivers superior technology and proven methodology to connect the customer experience to the bottom line. The result is better business for companies and a better experience for consumers.

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