Simple Ways to Streamline Mobile Experiences

Dave LawsonIn my last post, I provided some basic tips to consider when creating mobile sites or apps for your brand. These tips were part of a presentation that Molly Garris and I gave at Internet Retailer’s Mobile Commerce Forum last week. In addition to tips, we provided live reviews of mobile sites for several brands.
The live reviews were very fun and revealing, both to us as presenters and to the people witnessing the assessment. This wasn’t a forum to call out good vs bad decisions. It was really an opportunity to work through, from a true user perspective, what worked, where gaps or barriers might be, and what some nice alternatives for communication/interaction might be. It was also potential fodder for competitors to those brands’ whose sites were reviewed to possibly seize- hit-em where they ain’t, zig when they zag. Develop experiences where the prospective customer base is underserved by your competitive set and own that mobile resource in your consumer’s mindset.

Aside from one failed shoe-shopping scenario where some re-thinking of the execution may be in order, most of the direction focused on more comprehensive ways to streamline the experience and become more personalized. Things like:

  • Pre-populating data fields with order, product, customer or shipping information;
  • Creating feedback loops to know what is working, what isn’t, stimulate UGC, and involve the consumer on a more personal level;
  • Offering mobile-specific means of confirmation (push notifications, SMS, device optimized emails);
  • Taking customers directly to content, not plopping them down on a general landing page.

All of these things will be made possible with current advancements and maturity of the mobile space. Devices are still getting better, faster, more secure and easier to use. Data is being opened up via APIs and cloud-based delivery in ways we could have never anticipated. Standards (e.g. HTML5 and jquery mobile) are slowly and surely making their way to market and more features are more widely supported. All signs point to “go”!

For me, the net take-away, and one that reinforced opening remarks of our presentation regarding purpose-built mobile experiences, is that the more focused the experience/task/action was to comprehend and complete, the better the overall engagement ended up being. This is yet more evidence that much of the popular approach to m-commerce destinations we recognize as leading edge today, may be off-course in its concepting and execution.

Much of the focus has been to translate the on-line buying experience into a small screen environment with optimizations to account for fragmented computing standards. Mostly to address aesthetics and appearance. Once accomplished, the focus quickly became making those experiences faster and easier. While this optimization solves A problem, does this really solve THE problem that should be addressed to account and capture for mobile behavior as it pertains to commerce and your brand? Were the first solutions/directions the best course to take and to be iteratively optimized upon?

I, and my colleagues here at Knotice, suggest the answer is “no.” We are excited to take a look at this further in future posts, speaking engagements, and other thought leadership, so stay tuned.

What do you think?

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