If it hasn’t been explicitly clear thus far, there is a new king in the technology world, and its name is mobile. There are more consumers searching the web, answering emails, and interacting with brands from their smartphones than ever before. According to a Gartner press release issued the first quarter of 2016, “Global sales of smartphones to end users totaled 349 million units in the first quarter of 2016, a 3.9% increase over the same period in 2015. Smartphone sales represented 78% of total mobile phone sales in the first quarter of 2016”.

This means that there are more ways than ever for consumers to interact with a brand, and an e-commerce retailer’s product offerings. Marketers should be asking themselves if their websites are ready for the traffic.

This article explores 5 reasons e-commerce websites need to be optimized for mobile:

Reason 1: More People Are Using Mobile Than Ever Before

Marketers who think the above stat is important should consider this: there have been more Google search queries on smartphones than on desktop computers and tablets for over a year now. Marketers should consider how many times consumers check their phones every day, and then multiply that number by the total prospect and client base of their organization. With all of this constant clicking and refreshing of mobile content, consumers have become ‘mobile-friendly’ connoisseurs, they know immediately when something is off. Mobile optimization on a website will keep prospects’ eyes on the page longer, without any off-putting long-term side effects.

Reason 2: Consistency

Today, a consumer might interact with a single brand across multiple channels: in store, online, via social channels, all in a single day. It is imperative that organizations push the same brand message across all of these platforms, because today’s consumer is completely discerning with regards to inconsistencies. If a shopper is visiting a mobile site, then marketers can make an educated guess that the consumer has (or will) visit the main website. A mobile site should be streamlined, clean, easy to navigate, and clearly spell out a message, just like the main website. There should be no question at all in a consumer’s mind about where to go to buy or where to find a link they were looking at earlier.

Reason 3: Email Marketing Means Mobile Marketing

Email marketing represents a huge chunk of most marketing teams’ communication. The channel is relatively inexpensive, provides excellent metrics, and is easily scalable. However, when it comes to email, consumers and prospects that receive emails from an organization expect to be able to browse and view any communication on any device, regardless of the communication type. This means that any email, resource, or newsletter marketers send via email should link back to the website, and must be optimized for mobile for mobile. Marketers need to be sure the website loads and renders properly on any mobile device every time an email goes through the proofing process.

Reason 4: Going Viral

Marketers should take a moment to think about the biggest boost that could happen to a story or video (or any piece of content) that a team produces. Hopefully, going viral is what comes to their mind. In 2017, going viral is the equivalent of finding a golden egg, it immediately pushes a brand name to the top of every ‘trending’ list. The best way for marketers to win with viral content is to link back to a website, where individuals who may be unfamiliar with a brand can learn more and interact with products. The more interaction consumers have with content and a brand’s website on their mobile device, the more they can share and promote the content. As Meghan Litchfield, Head of Global e-commerce at GoPro once said, “Telling great customer stories is much better coming from the customer instead of the brand”.

Reason 5: Professionalism

This final reason is the simplest, and also the most important. A clean, professional website that enables consumers to easily navigate and consume content will not only help increase engagement and conversions, it will also help build brand credibility in the marketplace. Some quick mobile optimization tips marketers should keep in mind:

  • Avoid tiny navigation or menu bars. People on their smartphones don’t want to bother zooming in to try to click on a tiny ‘More Information’ link. Marketers should make their navigation bar pop.
  • The most prominent real estate should go to CTAs. If a brand has a ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Sign Up’ button, they should place it front and center. Mobile sites offer limited real estate to get their message across, and they should use it wisely.
  • Optimize the images or graphics that can get communicate a brand’s message faster than words. If a brand has a graphic-heavy website, marketers should ensure the images load correctly and fit to the space on a smartphone.

Final Thoughts

As more consumers search for content and make purchasing decisions from their smartphones, it is the marketers’ chance to come out on top. There are many reasons to optimize a website for mobile, with all of them boiling down to the fact that it is another step in enhancing the consumer experience and providing truly a valuable customer journey.

Find out how Emarsys can help improve your mobile optimization.

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