The face of online business has changed dramatically over the past few years. Revised SEO tactics, the adoption of self-service checkout platforms and the increasing prevalence of AI are a few key examples. Still, many analysts will argue that the most profound transformation can be seen in the rise of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. As these alternatives are now becoming commonplace, online marketing specialists need to adapt if they hope to reliably reach their target audience. What steps are companies taking to address this concern and what future trends can we expect to witness?
Mobile-Responsive Website Design: More Than Meets the Eye
We are forced to wonder if the term e-commerce will soon be updated to m-commerce due to the inexorable rise of mobile devices. Business owners and stakeholders are well aware of this movement and the smart ones have already begun adapting accordingly. This is primarily in the form of mobile-responsive websites. Simply stated, updated coding enables all content to appear the same across all devices. This is critical in terms of the end-user experience as well as the ability to reach a wider audience than before. Still, there are many other ways to handle an audience that prefers to access websites while out and about.
Sites now need to be much more streamlined than in the past. This is important for two reasons. First, mobile users may not always be able to access 3G and 4G connections. Websites that require a great deal of time to download are less appealing than those with a simpler interface. Considering the fact that the average consumer will wait no more than 13 seconds for a page to display correctly, simplified coding is essential. It should also be pointed out that visitors must always be able to find what they are looking for without navigating through the flotsam and jetsam associated with a digital “mess”. Simply stated, the average shopper no longer has the time to sift through irrelevant or outdated material. He or she will likely look elsewhere; perhaps to the page of a competitor. A clean layout is associated with a greater number of hits and naturally, a higher return on investment.
Branding for the Mobile Age
Branding practices have likewise changed since the rise of the mobile device. This should be of particular importance to businesses, as a picture can speak 1,000 words without needing to appear complicated and obtuse. Simpler tends to be better in this day and age. We must remember that the average smartphone display screen is between five and seven inches. Regardless of whether or not the device is equipped with 4K resolution, the fact of the matter is that complicated logos appear muddled and confusing. Marketing specialists want to create a lasting impression and the best way to accomplish this is to generate logos that are attractive and easy to understand.
This same concept holds true when referring to mission statements and similar content. Catchy, to the point and even funny are all qualities which can be included within this material. Unfortunately, this is also one of the sticking points during a marketing campaign. While some owners choose to brainstorm before committing to an idea, others instead use online slogan generators, as these allow individuals to think outside of the box. Still, simple and straightforward mission statements will help to cement a loyal mobile audience.
Finally, businesses are now appreciating the role that in-depth analytics play within a sales and marketing campaign. This is not simply referring to basic variables such as the average customer age or general spending habits. Firms must now dig deeper if they hope to fully appreciate the needs of their respective audiences. Some examples of the information that is important to obtain can be seen below:
- How often the user accesses the website.
- The amount of time spent on specific pages.
- Which posts are the most popular.
- The types of devices used to visit the site.
- The time of the day associated with the highest amount of inbound traffic.
Of course, it can be difficult to determine all of these factors and simultaneously oversee the day-to-day operations of an online business. So, many owners are now outsourcing such requirements to third-party marketing specialists. The bottom line is nonetheless very clear. Mobile devices are here to stay and if anything, they will become even more prevalent throughout the upcoming year.
Does this signal the demise of the personal computer and the laptop? Most analysts feel that this is taking things to the extreme. Static devices will always exist and while they represent a smaller market share, their impact is nonetheless very real. Owners simply need to find a balance between mobile-friendly sites and preserving the branding of their company.