In 2014, mobile readiness arrived in full force and is complementary to responsive design (which businesses should be touting anyway). Depending whom you ask, mobile readiness can mean a variety of things. However, it’s widely accepted that it’s a mobile version of a website, an app, or both. It’s complementary, and perhaps a subcategory, of responsive design which means sites are created to respond well no matter which device/platform is used. When it comes to mobile engagement, there are various gadgets and software solutions available, but how do you know where to start?
Begin by assessing whether or not mobile readiness is really for your business and your website. Not all sites/businesses will benefit from a mobile version of a website or an app. However, there are some that really need it, like financial institutions that want to ensure security, user friendliness and access to accounts at all times. However, if your business is providing eyelash extensions to a limited audience, they probably don’t need an app for that.
Here are a few signs you may need to bolster your mobile readiness in 2015 and how to do it. Remember: Jumping on this bandwagon without research (or high need) will just waste time and money:
1. Your site has a lot of content
If you’ve ever visited a site on your smartphone that wasn’t mobile ready, and it was rich with content, you were probably quickly overwhelmed. If it didn’t also feature responsive design, the layout may have also suffered. Content should be condensed and bite-sized anyway, but this is especially crucial with mobile viewing. In fact, according to The New York Times Google researchers have discovered people won’t wait longer than the blink of an eye to get content (and too much can slow sites down).
2. Your research shows a need for it
Collect your data before deciding whether or not to embrace mobile readiness. This can be done via curating other research, a focus group, informal social media poll, or any other way you choose. If your customers have queries about an app or related feature, that’s a huge sign that mobile readiness may be for you. Remember that Forbes reports customers can be your best marketers, and informants, so listen up.
3. You see an increase in the bottom line brewing
If you suspect an app that features deals, discounts or loyalty programs can help snag customers for life or increase your bottom line, listen to your instincts. However, developing an app can be expensive (it can also be affordable, so shop around). Before getting an app just because everyone else is doing it, find out if it’s something your customers want. They can even help direct the design and features of the app if you let them.
4. Your analyses show that most of your customers are mobile
This should be a given anyway since the majority of online users are using mobile devices as of 2014. However, if you see a significant percentage of your audience on mobile devices, they might prefer a mobile version of the site. Consider a soft launch, and perhaps offering the mobile version as an option (and not defaulting to it). People simultaneously hate change but want the latest technology, so you need to give them the best of both worlds.
Most importantly, test, test, and then test some more if you embrace the mobile readiness movement. That are constantly new mobile devices coming on the market, updates happening, and the landscape is changing. What good is mobile readiness if it only “works” on part of the mobile audience?