As the recent IAB statistics on mobile optimisation highlight (Nearly 40% of top 100 brands have a mobile optimised website, 20th August 2012), the critical question that online brands should be asking clearly no longer is ‘Why should I invest in mobile?’ but ‘How should I invest?’ Tim Burge, Pre Sales Director at Maxymiser, looks at the importance of testing and optimisation to get the most from the sector.
And the key to successfully answering that question lies in identifying and understanding how your customers are using mobile: are they browsing, researching or buying, for example? The mobile site is highly likely to differ from the desktop site not only because of the size of device and its differing functionality, but because the customer may be in a different mode, or mindset, – whether browsing briefly on a mobile site or ordering and comparing on a larger device such as a Tablet or Laptop- they may therefore require different content delivered in a different way.
Brands need to do internal testing to find out what their customers’ unique needs are and once brands have gained this information they can start to optimise the mobile site and increase engagement and satisfaction levels for the customer. Testing and analysis through real time measurement of a customer’s online behaviour rather than making assumptions – ie guessing – about how consumers are using the mobile platform to interact with your brand, content optimisation through A/B and multivariate testing provides the chance to proactively measure and monitor the way mobile content impacts customer behaviour and then react to this behaviour and increase customer conversion and engagement.
Furthermore, optimisation should not stop with mobile. It is estimated that by 2014, 208 million tablets will be sold worldwide, and 72% of tablet owners make purchases from their devices on a weekly basis (source: ThinkwithGoogle.com/MobilePlaybook/UK). Tablets, though, have all the expectation of a laptop but all the limitations of a mobile, so brands considering a tablet strategy will need to ask the same fundamental and strategic questions of their prospects and customers.
At the core of any brand’s overall web success lies an engaged customer. Increasingly, brands need to consider all the channels through which that customer will want to interact with them – desktop, mobile and tablet. To achieve the relevant, personalised content that will underpin the successful multichannel brand, organisations need to adopt a ‘business as usual’ approach to testing that ensures every decision regarding content is correct, reflects customer behaviour and, critically, improves customer engagement.
By Tim Burge
Pre Sales Director