Mobile Experiences Have a Long Way to Go…How’s Yours?

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Posted: June 10, 2014 | Mobile Marketing

As you’ve probably noticed, an increasing percentage of customer engagement, and ultimately purchases, now happen on mobile devices. But because this transformation happened so quickly, many marketers are still playing catch-up when it comes to optimizing mobile experiences for their customers. And so, to help marketers improve the quality of their audience’s mobile interactions, I decided to put together a list of my own most pivotal mobile experiences from a consumer standpoint.

As marketers, it’s easy to forget that our investments culminate in experiences…and from my perspective, the mobile experience still has a long way to go.

My Convenience Affects Your Bottom Line

If you’re a consumer marketer who deals with e-commerce, think about how much convenience and ease of use matter during digital desktop interactions. A lot, right? Now amplify that by 10.

My New Year’s resolution was to exercise more this year (and yes, I am well aware that it is already June), and I choose to blame my lack of exercise on inconvenience. To sign up for an exercise class, my studio requires me to go online and pay for everything there. The problem is that “going online” has to truly be a desktop experience. The payment process involves so much text, and so many steps, that it’s incredibly hard to do on my phone – which is where I like to do everything.

This small inconvenience to me, your customer, can actually have a big effect on your bottom line. Let’s say my ability to sign up for an exercise class was easy to do on mobile. Let’s say I exercise five days a week starting in January, because I’m so virtuous, and because I didn’t have an excuse not to. Each class costs $20 dollars, and by now I would’ve been in class for five months. $20 per class x 5 classes a week x 4 weeks x 5 months is already $2,000. And my guess is that I’m not the only one lazy enough to be thwarted by a minor inconvenience…that dollar value is probably much, much greater.

Of course, I might just be exceptionally lazy, but you get my point – as a consumer marketer, it is up to you to make it as easy and enjoyable as possible for me to buy, regardless of my preferred channel. Remove every possible obstacle in my way, and then A/B test the results of each removal, just as you would with emails or landing pages.

As a counter-example, services like Uber and Lyft make it incredibly easy to sign up and pay for their services on your phone. Their sign up processes are fast, simple, and designed for mobile. This is part of the whole “frictionless society” idea, which payment companies like Coin and Square also contribute to – everything is streamlined, clean, and automatic. As marketers, we should aim to create a frictionless experience in every sector – give the consumer what they want, and let them pay on the go.

Spam Exists, It Just Has a Different Flavor

A few months ago, I was on my phone looking through Instagram photos, when I saw a photo which promised a free flight on a major airline to anyone who re-posted it. Out of pure excitement, I shared the photo and texted all of my friends to do the same…only to realize, moments later, that it was all a scam. A few weeks later, SnapChat got hacked and so did my account. I received a steady influx of spammed snaps – mostly selling gold watches.

I think the scary part about mobile spam is that because it’s taken new forms, we’re much more easily duped – at this point, we’re all pretty good at identifying spam and scams in our email. This is important for marketers to keep in mind, because these kinds of experiences can hurt your relationship with your audience. As a consumer, when I get spammed or scammed, I feel less trust in that brand. I wrote a blog about how great SnapChat was a few months ago; now I hardly ever send snaps.

Seamless Experiences

One of my biggest pet peeves is when I’m on Facebook on my phone, and then I click through to watch a video…only to realize that the user hasn’t enabled the video for mobile. Let me promise you something: I’m never going switch to my desktop computer and open it there. The same goes for websites that are not responsive (which means they don’t adjust their format, size, and copy to accommodate a mobile user). When I want information, and I actually bother to go looking for it, I want it now.

As a marketer, take the time to check your content on multiple platforms every time you launch an ad, email, website, landing page…anything. Most marketers have quality assurance checks to make sure we don’t have spelling mistakes in our emails, so we should also make sure that our content can be properly viewed in multiple browsers and on multiple devices.

I’m Gen Y, What about Natives?

Keep in mind that my opinions come from someone who, as a member of Generation Y, didn’t grow up with all of this technology – I had to adopt it. The next generation, on the other hand, are “natives” – they were born with technology and mobile in their hands. That means that 1) it’s even more important to optimize for mobile if you ever want to reach them, and 2) they won’t constantly be comparing mobile experiences to desktop experiences; they’ll view mobile as the primary mode of engagement.

If you’re a marketer, what challenges have you faced in providing a seamless mobile experience? And what are some companies you believe do mobile well? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Phillip Chen is Sr. Enterprise Marketing Manager at Marketo, where he runs field events generating pipeline within the Enterprise. Phillip previously launched nurture at Marketo and managed demand generations programs for the B2C audience. Phillip graduated from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada with a Bachelor of Commerce.

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