During the session ‘Can Your Mobile Site or App Be Better?’, Molly Garris, Digital Strategy Director at Arc Worldwide, and I provided tips and live critiques of mobile sites from audience members (more on the mobile site critiques in a later post.)
Here are some basic bases from the session to consider and assure are covered in context to your brand when creating mobile sites or apps:
- Findability: How quickly can a shopper access your mobile content? Does your mobile site URL or app have a straightforward name that can be easily found by those searching for it?
- Accessibility: Is your app available for a variety of phones, or just an iPhone? Are there shortcuts you could provide to save time? For shortcuts, consider things like allowing them to enter their zip code to receive more targeted content.
- Usability: How simple is the buying process? Can items be easily accessed and shared? Will a login help the customer access custom information now or later?
- Content: Is the type and amount of information right for the mobile experience? Remember, you don’t need to provide all of the content on a mobile device. Is there a search function available to help consumers find additional information?
As we look to the future of where mobility is going, it’s helpful to take a look at where revolutions have gone and also where early mobile adoption is materially changing.
During the conference, Ken McDonald from Lifepics shared a familiar slide that is still very compelling. It referenced the introduction and consequent skyrocketing of automobile ownership compared to the horse and carriage industry, when the horse and carriage was traditionally the best available option for convenient, personal transportation.
I am going to extend the car vs. buggy reference to another famous quote from Henry Ford (one that has resonated with me as I see sub $1 billion retailers trying to mirror the decisions and form factors established by the biggest of the big.)
Ford said: “If I’d have asked the public what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.”
Few would have predicted success at the rate that it came for Ford and others in the car business but, as we know, many would have been wrong.
In thinking about what is considered the best of breed in mobility currently, it’s probably hard to imagine that even the biggest of the big, the best of the best, are possibly going about this the wrong way. Yup, I said it. They are going about it the best way they know how, based on those who took early steps and those who improved upon them but really, what we’re looking at are very similar experiences to online shopping that we have seen developed for the wired web.
This isn’t to say that just anyone can start designing and mass producing these new types of mobile commerce experiences. Henry Ford benefitted from smart resource management, design and pricing that appealed to the common man, and innovation in his business on a daily basis. Make sure you have chosen a partner that is built and operates similarly.