Today’s consumers are always on the move — and thanks to the prevalence of mobile devices, they are shopping as they go. An impressive 60% of Americans use their smartphones, tablets or laptops to shop for goods and services — and a whopping 90% of them also used them to take advantage of special deals and offers. That is potentially both good news and bad news for your small business. If you give these shoppers a slow, clunky, confusing online experience, they are not likely to turn into buyers. Modern times call for more nimble website strategies. Check out these ideas for making your website more user-friendly for your mobile market.
Web Designs for Handheld Devices
An elaborately detailed, full-featured website used to serve as a kind of status symbol, a demonstration of a business’s legitimacy. As monitor resolutions grew, so did website screen sizes and complexity. However, the downside of this approach becomes all too apparent when you try to access all that complexity through a small mobile device. Many traditional websites would shrink down into ant-sized presentations, complete with unusable menu tabs and unreadable text; others would simply become a hopeless jumble. To make your website work on a smaller scale, you have to reconsider your design. Popular options in today’s mobile world include:
- Mobile-dedicated website — This is a smaller, stripped-down version of your regular site specifically designed for visitors making use of handheld devices. It lives in your domain alongside your normal, full-sized website, being called into action when the appropriate device makes a connection. Instead of trying to offer all the bells and whistles of your full website, the mobile version just provides the most critical information and functionality.
- Responsive website — The responsive website is a full-scale web design that rescales and rearranges itself automatically to correspond to the type of device connecting to it. This option will try to provide every button, tab and image. The downside is that it may force the user to do a lot of scrolling as a result.
- Adaptive website — The adaptive website attempts to provide the best of both worlds. Like a responsive website, it can scale up or down to suit various types of devices. Unlike a responsive website, however, it does not try to preserve every detail of the original; instead, it “decides” how many of those features the visiting device will comfortably support, and includes only those features in its layout.
One Bite at a Time: Digestible Content
Crafting the ideal website for mobile users is not just a matter of design; it is also a matter of appealing to people with limited time and attention. Mobile shoppers are obviously busy folks, so you have to feed them content that will grab their attention without overstaying its welcome. That is why you want to focus on digestible content — bite-sized morsels of mouth-watering information, as opposed to an intimidating, time-consuming feast of facts.
Short, punchy articles and posts will help prevent restless mobile users from moving on to other, less-challenging fare from your competitors. If you want to achieve maximum impact in minimal time and space, go with images instead of text whenever practical. The simple step of adding an image to your article will cause it to attract 94% more views.
Playing to Your Audience Via Predictive Analytics
Mobile shoppers typically use their devices to find, not only the products and services they need but also the nearest place to find a good deal. What’s more, 70% of those shoppers will provide you with data about them in exchange for a discount, coupon, or other treats. Feed that data into a predictive analytics and geo-targeting tool, and you can personalize your approach to each customer based on that customer’s recent behaviors and current location.
It is a mobile world out there, so get moving with your new, mobile-friendly web presence!