7 Elements for Developing a Mobile First Strategy

Developing a Mobile First Strategy for your Business
Developing a Mobile First Strategy for your Business

We are today in the middle of the biggest technology revolution ever. With processing power, bandwidth, and storage capacity of smartphones and other mobile devices increasing exponentially, personal computers are fast being replaced as the preferred means of connecting with the world.

Your target audience is carrying and using its smartphones and tablets everywhere, and that has changed how they interact with you on a daily basis.
This gives you a great opportunity to interact with your customers anywhere at any time and start a meaningful dialog with them. Mobile devices give you the opportunity to engage your customers actively with the right information just when they need it, and push them towards a buying decision.
So what is mobile first strategy? Mobile first strategy refers to websites that have been designed first for mobile devices, especially smartphones, and then for personal computers. A web designer will build a site keeping in mind the limitations of a mobile. The desktop website will have a simple design which can then be upgraded with additional features. Mobile first strategy makes use of technology that is specific to mobile users, such as GPS, cameras, data collection etc., to create features that cannot be used by desktop users.  Designers create pages that load rapidly, take up little screen space and low bandwidth.
Google’s recent Hummingbird algorithm update has left developers with no option other than to create mobile compatible sites that render across a wide variety of mobile devices. Also, in an interesting development in the eCommerce space, a leading Indian online fashion portal recently decided to go mobile-only, forsaking its desktop website presence.

A few elements of an ideal mobile first strategy are described below.

7 Elements of Mobile First Strategy

  1. Analyze Your Customers:

    This essentially means you need to identify your primary target audience, understand their decision drivers, their preferences, what kind of devices they are likely to use and so on. It is also important to understand how your customers use their mobile phone. Eventually your mobile first strategy is meant to improve customer experience and should be centered around them.

  2. Know Your Vendor Ecosystem:

    You will need specialized vendors to ensure that your mobile strategy is on track. Depending on your strategy, understanding the mobile vendor ecosystem is important. For example, if you are leveraging text messaging, you will need a platform provider that is connected to a Tier 1 or 2 aggregation that gives you access to wireless carriers. Understand what a partner can offer you and how that supports your mobile strategy objectives.

  3. Make an Adaptive Website:

    Ensure that your website loads equally well on all kinds of mobile devices as well as all mobile browsers. It should automatically adjust to the size screen the user has. Do not forget that your customers are increasingly making decisions using their mobile devices. This trend of using mobile devices for paying bills, making purchases, social networking, gaming etc. will only grow, so think mobile first when you create or redo your website.

  4. Get Responsive:

    Your customers shouldn’t have to pinch to frame a small portion of the site, and then squint to read a small screen, or scroll back and forth endlessly. Responsive web design (RWD) ensures that your website provides the optimal viewing experience across a range of devices.  The information on your company’s website should be accessible and view able in full regardless of the device being used, and automatically respond to that viewing preference. This applies to your site’s navigation as well.  The navigation should adapt to the device so as to avoid scroll. A good example is www.newsweek.com. Though the site is heavily driven by content, no information is lost when viewed on different devices. Several other companies have employed the RWD as part of their mobile-first strategy.

  5. People Do Not Pay the Way They Used To:

    E-wallets are becoming almost as popular as paying by credit cards. Google’s mobile wallet works with all major credit cards, is secure and allows easy payment through smart mobile devices. Your website should include mobile friendly payments methods that are secure and fast.

  6. Innovate, Do Not Only Replicate:

    Voice-activated technology like Apple’s Siri can change the way your customers interact with you. Allowing your customers to interact with an intelligent agent that offers a human-like voice interface will be like a mobile concierge for your company. All such opportunities to innovate should be leveraged by your business.

  7. Use Available Tools in the Market:

    There are a plethora of templates available in HTML 5 and CSS3 that are customization for specific business requirements. For instance, Bootstrap is a popular HTML, CSS and JavaScript framework that be employed to design mobile first, responsive websites. In addition to these elements, you also need to define your company’s mobile goals so that you can determine the budget, internal efforts, and production timelines to support them. For example, identify whether you want to offer your customers a research tool that will aid their purchase decision, or whether you want to boost customer loyalty, or specific guidelines about the kinds of leads you want to capture and so on. Be sure not to adjust your goals to what is available.

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