It is hard to dispute the fact that smartphones have been able to completely transform our lives. With over 230 million smartphones in the US alone, we are no longer just using our phones for calls and a camera; we are using them for entertainment, social media, banking, making videos and, in some cases, running or operating a business. According to statistics, we now spend 86 percent of our time online via our mobile phones, and almost half of all online sales are done on a mobile device. All of these factors cumulatively mean that it is more important than ever before for businesses to have a robust mobile strategy in place.
Why Mobile Strategy Is Important
While the mobile market is huge, producing a viable mobile site requires a significant investment. Customers prefer a friction-less experience when interacting with mobile sites, and many abandon their interaction if it takes more than a few seconds to load. Developing an app that fits this criterion can cost anywhere from thousands to millions of dollars. Before companies invest that amount of money, it is important to ask a few important questions about what they are trying to achieve:
Will having this app or mobile site align with our business strategy?
It is crucial that the business contemplates what are they trying to achieve before investing in a project such as this. Understanding the "why" before you proceed is key.
Do our customers need this app? Are we giving them added value?
The mobile market is very crowded with hundreds of new apps coming out every day. The other way a business can differentiate themselves is to add more value to their customer. Adding value by doing something different is a great feature, and it will also compel people to use the app as well. However, in order to understand if your customers actually need this new product you need to be close enough to your customers to understand their "pain points."
How can we make this a great experience for our customers?
It goes without saying that almost anyone will have had a poor mobile experience before; the one where you get frustrated navigating a badly designed website or having to waste time trying to use a glitchy app. The more we offer a frictionless experience to the user, the more likely they will be to use the app. With the presence of a universal cart where the user can seamlessly complete their transaction; businesses can also incorporate easy payment methods like having a mobile wallet. Amazon does this very well with its one-click ordering. Alternatively, businesses can partner with payment providers such PayPal and more, who tend to offer an easy to use, one-click purchase.
Do we have a team to support this?
If you are planning on implementing a mobile site, support should not be an afterthought. The pace of updates for both hardware and software can be at breakneck speed. Mobile sites need to be optimized, content maintained, and bugs and glitches fixed which can be a full-time job.
In short, mobile commerce is a market that needs to be tapped and utilized. Businesses need clarity on where they are going with this and why, in order to avoid making costly mistakes and to plan correctly. Therefore, it is essential that hard questions are asked in the first instance, allowing your business to build a robust mobile strategy that is right for your corporate goals and objectives.
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