OpenMarket – March 31, 2016
At Mobile World Congress in February, more than 90,000 people gathered in Barcelona to discuss the latest trends and developments in mobile tech. A lot of the conversation – both on stage and behind the scenes – revolved around how global mobile device adoption is driving demand for mobile-friendly customer experiences. And since this is something we’re passionate about, we decided it’s a good time to discuss it in further detail.
The Mobile Adoption Shift
The shift away from desktop computers and towards mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets, has been underway for years. However, we’re finally at a point where mobile device usage is commonplace. In 2014, for the first time ever, the number of mobile only internet users exceeded the number of desktop-only internet users.
According to Aaron Smith of the Pew Research Center, “Nearly two-thirds of Americans are now smartphone owners, and for many these devices are a key entry point to the online world.”
In particular, 64 percent of American adults now own some sort of smartphone. This figure is up from only 35 percent in 2011. Furthermore, seven percent of Americans own a smartphone and have no alternatives for going online.
When you study the younger demographic, it’s even more clear that internet access is largely defined by mobile device access. Among Americans between the ages of 18 and 29, 15 percent are “heavily dependent” on a smartphone for internet access.
This shift towards mobile devices is quite significant. And if you study the trends – particularly among younger individuals who are quickly becoming the majority – it doesn’t appear that there’s any turning back.
Why Businesses Need to Cater to the Shift
While it’s easy to get lost in numbers and lose touch with what’s really happening, the key takeaway here is that mobile devices are becoming the preferred choice for accessing the internet. From a business perspective, this means your best chance of reaching and connecting with consumers is to leverage these mobile devices.
Specifically, businesses need to enhance customer experience by pursuing mobile-first strategies that no longer look at mobile devices as secondary options. We’re past the point of return, so it doesn’t do you any good to delay.
“As with every channel, you need to take the time to see how consumers are interacting with you on mobile devices,” writes Steve Nattress of Eptica, a customer interaction software provider. “Analyze how different groups use different devices and build your strategy around customer needs, rather than trying to second guess what they want.”
If you study companies and brands that are currently experiencing widespread success, it’s clear that they are putting mobile customer experiences first. According to this infographic by Vision Critical, 84 percent of CIOs are now placing an emphasis on this important component of customer engagement, with 39 percent of outperforming companies having fully integrated digital-physical strategies.
The same Vision Critical infographic also points out the reason why businesses need to cater to this mobile shift when looking at customer experiences. By 2020, research suggests customer experience will actually supersede price and product as the key brand differentiator in crowded markets. Specifically, 86 percent of buyers will pay more for better customer experience.
3 Mobile-Friendly Ways to Enhance CX
As you can see, enhancing your customer experience is all about following the shift towards mobile devices. So, what does this look like in practice? Well, here are three tangible tips you can begin implementing today.
- Launch Responsive Sites
One of the very first things you have to do is launch a responsive website that enables you to deliver a consistent and smooth experience to all customers regardless of the device they’re using.
While most brands have already developed responsive sites, there’s still a large percentage that hasn’t adopted this new strategy yet. The danger of sticking with a static website template – or even a mobile template – is that you risk ostracizing important users who choose to use alternative devices that don’t align with your setup. Considering that there are hundreds of different combinations of screen sizes, devices, and browsers, this isn’t a risk worth taking.
- Develop Functional Mobile Apps
The second tip is to invest in a mobile app. While some brands in particular industries won’t find mobile apps valuable or effective, most brands can benefit from them.
The beauty of a mobile app is that it allows you to push notifications and information directly to your target market’s devices. This gives you some control over the conveyance of information and provides you with the ability to stay relevant and available. The only downside is that developing a functional app takes a lot of time and money. And ultimately, if you’re going to launch an app, you have to make sure you don’t skimp on quality.
- Invest in SMS
Finally, you should invest in SMS. SMS is by far the most powerful and engaging mobile channel for enhancing customer experience. SMS can be used to send out deals, facilitate convenient customer service, engage with customers on a channel that’s familiar to them, gather data, and everything in between.
Currently, SMS is being underutilized by many companies. However, if you look at large businesses who are extremely competitive in their industries, you’ll notice that they’re including SMS in their communications strategies. This should tell you everything you need to know about this all-important component of customer experience in 2016.
Contact OpenMarket Today
At OpenMarket, we’re committed to leading the way when it comes to engaging customers and employees with mobile-friendly customer experiences that differentiate growing brands from the competition. If you’re looking for a way to strategically nudge your customer experience in the right direction, then you’ll want to learn more about our mobile messaging solutions.
For additional information regarding our solutions, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. We would love to discuss in more detail what our mobile engagement platform would look like for your company.