Device Use Is Soaring, But Are You Removing Friction From Your Mobile Experiences?

Like much of the world, I’ve spent the last few months working from home and relying on my phone for information, entertainment and connection. Though I’m no longer checking flight statuses and sports scores, I’m using my phone to view package delivery updates, discover new brands on Instagram and stay up-to-date on the news. And I’m not the only one.

Customer engagement with mobile advertisers increased by 15% amid stay-at-home orders in the U.S., according to MobileFuse data. And experts predict consumers will be spending upwards of four hours a day on their phones in 2021.

The immediacy and on-the-go responsiveness of mobile experiences is undeniable. As more consumers use their phones to shop and gather information, many companies are seeing the value of prioritizing a mobile-first strategy.

Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a lot of money right away or overhaul your company’s existing platforms to improve your mobile experience. All you need is some time and focus to make meaningful changes. Here are three simple ways to become a mobile-first brand.

1. Be your own customer

Transforming your mobile experience requires thinking like a consumer at every stage of the converting journey. To get into the right mindset, go through your company’s entire mobile conversion process—from seeing a paid social ad to arriving at checkout—as a customer.

Along the way, look for friction. Friction refers to anything that causes pause in the mobile journey. A point of friction might be when a site doesn’t load fast enough, when products don’t contain enough images or when a customer’s address doesn’t autofill during checkout.

Notice how much time it takes to buy a product. Can you easily find what you’re looking for? If you put down your phone or leave the site to answer a text, how convenient is it to pick up where you left off?

Answering these questions can help you identify areas for improvement.

How to get started:

  • Review all your site designs and campaigns on mobile.
  • Set up regular cross-functional meetings where departments can view the full mobile customer journey and identify friction together.

2. Use data to reduce friction

Consumers tend to multitask on mobile, whether they’re watching TV while checking Instagram or walking down the street as they contemplate a shoe purchase. One way to facilitate conversion is to help the customer make an informed decision quickly—and that starts by reducing friction.

Using data—the ultimate equalizer in terms of what consumers are telling you—is key. Depending on your company’s setup, you may want to check your ecommerce site analytics or look at a customer’s behavior using a tool like Facebook Analytics. The numbers will give you a better idea of what to change.

Even seemingly small tweaks, like auto-populating credit card information or providing the right keyboard to input a zip code, can help make a big impact on conversion.

Bitsbox, a company that makes STEM education toys, discovered major friction on the path to customer subscription. After partnering with the Mobile Growth Team at Facebook, they condensed multiple subscription pages into one single page, which improved conversion by 56%, according to Bitsbox internal data.

How to get started:

  • Use diagnostic KPIs outside of just conversion to find friction.
  • Look for metrics like bounce rates, site page load times, time spent on site, drop-off percentages, visits from one phase of the consumer journey to the next, form completion rates and repeat visits.

3. Always be testing

Testing is one of the best ways to figure out what works and what doesn’t, and is critical to making strategic, data-driven decisions.

Consider starting with a hypothesis. In other words, what do you want to learn or solve? Once you choose an area of focus on the customer journey, identify the KPIs you want to measure—whether it’s how much time a consumer spends on the landing page or how many pages they view. Then define what success looks like to you. From there, you can evaluate the results and create a list of changes to make.

Keep in mind that testing isn’t a one-time project—it’s an ongoing endeavor. Brands that test frequently and continually push for growth are more likely to have an advantage over those that make a few changes then call it a day.

How to get started:

  • Pick a single portion of the consumer journey and optimize it.
  • Start with single variant testing, which means making one change and keeping everything else the same to note the downstream impact of all KPIs.

You don’t need a complicated plan or six-figure budget to become a mobile-first brand. You just need to make a few simple process improvements. Adopting a customer mindset, reducing friction and prioritizing testing can help you stay flexible in uncertain times, not to mention set you up for long-term growth.

Interesting in learning more about mobile UX best practices? Register for our next After The Click event here.