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Mobile Devices are the Convenience Stores of the Web

by Darin Stewart  |  May 14, 2012  |  1 Comment

Adobe conducted a study last year that found customers visiting a website from a tablet are more likely to make a purchase than those visiting from a desktop. They also spend more per purchase, as much as 21% more. This trend has not gone unnoticed by retailers and other companies looking for ways to expand their market reach. Improving mobile presence, including location-based services, personalization and tracking capabilities will be the core focus of most online retailers over the next 18 months.

Despite this commitment, most companies struggle with effectively engaging a mobile audience. They find that their homepage, carefully crafted for a desktop browser, drives away mobile visitors. Layering on the out-of-the-box mobile profile provided by the WCM system only makes matters worse. The reason is that a “shrink to fit” approach to the mobile web is not a viable solution. Mobile users have different goals and behaviors than their desktop-bound equivalents. This is true even if the mobile visitor and the desktop visitor are the same person accessing your website in a different context at a different time. For example, a desktop visitor spends more time on a homepage with a lower bounce rate than they will with other content and pages across the site. For mobile visitors, this trend is reversed with longer visits to content pages and little attention given to the homepage.

This is largely due to when mobile users come to your website, such as when they are standing in line at the grocery store. 80% of mobile web access happens during a user’s miscellaneous down time. People pull out their mobile devices when they have just a little time to kill. Whether they are waiting for a meeting to start (or under the table after the meeting has started), waiting for their kids after school or in line for a bank teller, that is when they are most likely to go to the mobile web. This leads to a convenience store approach to web surfing.

When a visitor is comfortable in their office or den, with a luxurious screen and full-sized keyboard in front of them, they are likely to spend some quality time on your website as they would perusing the aisles of a full service, brick and mortar retail store. When they only have a minute with a tiny display and cramped keypad they want to dash in, get what they need and move on. A mobile web presence needs to fulfill this need. At the same time, it should encourage the user to return to your flagship store, the desktop oriented website, when they have more time. 59% of visitors to a mobile website later follow up with a visit to the main website on a PC. When they do, you should be able to greet them at the door by name.

Content Mobility is about more than simply ensuring that your content is readable on a two-inch screen. It is about precision content delivery. When users are interacting with your content for shorter periods of time, with a smaller display and more distractions, it is critical to make the most of that limited window of opportunity. This requires more than optimizing content for display on a small screen. It is requires leveraging the unique affordances of a mobile device and creating a cohesive, focused, conversational experience for the user that crosses channels, platforms and sessions.

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Category: mobile-and-endpoint-technologies  web-content-management  

Tags: mobile-web  mobility  wcm  web-content-management  

Darin Stewart
Research Vice President
6 years with Gartner
21 years IT industry

Darin Stewart is a research vice president for Gartner in the Collaboration and Content Strategies service. He covers search, knowledge management, semantic technologies and enterprise content management. Read Full Bio

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