Go mobile first or lose your customers!
A sneak peek into our Whitepaper about creating truly mobile first customer experiences
Innovation in mobile customer experience? Nope!
You could argue that we’ve had enough time to grow into and adjust to mobile being the main channel for brands to interact with their customers. After all, we’ve had more than 10 years, to be specific.
And yet, really innovative mobile customer experiences hardly exist. While our smartphones have become the main portal to the internet and the number of mobile users and their dwelling time keeps increasing, for some reason, most retailers and brands have failed in providing mobile customer experiences that increase conversion and actual spending via mobile.
If for you, mobile first customer experiences still equal responsive design, you’ve come to the right place — we’re here to teach you a thing or two.
Understanding your customers is key
Mobile user first means research first, create and build later. Learning what your user’s goals are will allow you to create solutions that will keep them coming back. Investigating the user’s context will help your solutions go one step beyond what the users know they want.
The deeper your understanding of your user’s needs are, the better you can anticipate their needs and delight them with a customer experience that exceeds their expectations.
Probably one of the most important things to realize is this: users can be in a million different scenarios, on the go, virtually anywhere, at any time of the day, in any social environment imaginable. And because users often browse on their mobile in moments when they are waiting, have a break, or are bored, they get easily side-tracked, too. They’ll be gone as quickly as they came.
Clearly, more than ever, exciting and capturing your users has turned into a key ingredient for successful mobile first design.
Best practice rules for mobile first design
A story of space and time
You obviously know that mobile screens are smaller than desktops. But what most brands and retailers out there fail to realize is this: To adapt design and features for mobile doesn’t mean simply adapting them to a smaller screen size.
Instead, the foundation of true mobile first design is radically applying what you’ve learned from studying your user’s behavior.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Trim down all the unnecessary elements of your site, and focus on the must-have bits.
- Anticipate your user’s needs and make everything available to them easily — literally at the tip of their fingers.
- Go beyond text, images, and buttons: If using your user’s mobile features, like the camera or GPS sensors, helps improve the customer experience — do it. Your users will be delighted!
The right technology will clear the path
Technology, as always, can be the enabler for you to offer a truly outstanding user experience — turning users into fans and customers into ambassadors.
On the one hand, the right technology will improve the user experience. You already know the basics, like the importance of fast load times.
Time for your next step on the technology roadmap: Users have become used to the convenience of using apps, and will be unforgiving for any experience that doesn’t live up to those standards. So, creating an app-like experience with a Progressive Web App isn’t a nice-to-have anymore, it’s a necessity.
On the other hand, true mobile first design has hardly ever come from designing on a desktop. The right technology will enable you to re-think your page designs from a mobile user’s perspective — with a live preview on any actual device. Yep, you read right: no more guesswork about how a page might look and behave in real life on mobile. Empower your content managers to really deliver what you found out is needed during your user behavior research!
So, what’s next?
User experience is in fact a science, one that’s tied to humans and their context and behavior. If you have your eyes set on innovation, all the suggestions here are a great start, but they’ll only take you so far.
Be prepared to keep observing users to really make a difference. And when you think you have made great progress — start all over again. Because the evolution of users’ behavior never stops — such as the UX innovation cycle never stops.
So, make sure to stay curious. Create, test, and improve your craziest ideas. Research your users again, and then — if needed — start over.
More best practices
You’ve got a glimpse of what might be necessary to create truly capturing mobile first customer experiences but want to take a deep dive? Download our Whitepaper for more inspiration, tips, and tricks to optimize and innovate the customer experience of your commerce site.