Today’s world is mobile-enabled, but tomorrow’s world will have an even greater mobile dependency. In 2014, there were 2.1 billion mobile phones and tablets sold worldwide. And in 2020, there will be an estimated 200 billion connected devices. Even with the obvious trend, according the PointSource 2016 The State of the Mobile Experience Report, there are still many untapped opportunities for companies to improve their mobile experiences and address common user experience pain points.
Being frustrated by a mobile app or mobile web site is not a problem we left behind in 2012, or even 2015, but still a fairly common issue. If left unaddressed, even the smallest disappointments in a mobile user experience can turn malignant, alienating valuable consumers.
What’s the Deal With the Mobile User Experience?
Every industry has its unique mobile struggles, both in terms of implementation and strategy. Retailers, for example, have yet to effectively use customer data, which can assist in personalizing the user experience and creating cross-channel continuity. Just a third of retail respondents currently track purchasing history via mobile, giving no opportunity to create a single view of the customer.
Insurance companies struggle to convert entrenched attitudes. Insurance respondents cited aversion to change as the number one reason for their stagnated adoption trends.
Across the board, there are common issues with mobile. Many industry influencers and key decision makers already know that the current state of their company’s mobile experience is insufficient to meet user expectations. This unfortunately holds true across many leading industries, such as finance, retail, insurance and supply chain. According to our findings, on a ten point scale, just 47 percent of finance respondents, 37 percent of retailers, and under a quarter of insurance (23 percent) and supply chain (21 percent) companies ranked their existing mobile experience nine or above.
So how can we earn 10/10s?
Leading the Mobile-Revolution From the C-Suite
As CEOs and senior executives, it’s our responsibility to lead the charge in improving the user experience across every digital touchpoint, especially mobile. Thankfully, many study respondents already register the importance of doing just that.
According to our findings, of those investing in mobile in 2016, a third (32 percent) say their companies plan to spend between $100,000-$250,000. A quarter plan to spend more than $500,000.
Likewise, companies planning to invest in mobile are doing so for the right reasons, and with the right considerations driving their mobile decisions. For those planning to invest in mobile in the next year, top motivators included wanting to meet customers’ expressed desires for mobile (71 percent), wanting to expand products and services (61 percent), and wanting to prepare for a mobile-driven future (59 percent).
In terms of focus, survey respondents are primed to tie in new and emerging technologies. This will only serve to provide a stronger mobile user experience by helping companies learn more about customers and by providing users with expanding digital capabilities. As well, incorporating more modern technologies enable businesses to make progress on evolving legacy architectures and future-proofing their technology strategy, while leveraging existing investments. Of those planning to invest, mobile payments (64 percent), social commerce (52 percent) and video marketing (49 percent) will be areas of focus over the next year.
The resources are there. The intentions are good. So what’s missing?
As leaders within our companies, we must ensure that these plans and hopes do not stagnate in the hypothetical, but instead turn into real-world solutions that benefit both users and employees. Mobile will remain a priority in the years to come — there is no doubt about that. In fact, on a ten point scale, 69 percent of respondents rank mobile as an eight or above in terms of importance over the next three years. Now is the time for action.
Where to Start, and Why
To reduce friction and provide the desired mobile user experience as a guiding component of your digital strategy, start by addressing the user journey and focus on features that deliver value. This will vary from industry to industry, but can include updates like streamlined login, multiple payments options, geolocation customization, and notification strategies. In looking at finance, retail, insurance and supply chain industries we can gain insights such as:
Finance: Give users what they want — there’s little value in providing capabilities and features that users have not expressed interest in using. This is especially true when the offerings they are interested in, such as personal banking tasks (making deposits, paying bills, etc.), aren’t up to their standards. It’s great to be innovative, but financial companies must focus on a simple solution with a clear user experience first to establish a fruitful relationship with customers.
Retail: Mobile is everywhere — the strongest mobile solutions can link online and in-store information and bridge the gap to make consumers lives easier and their experiences more personalized. Empowering employees with mobile solutions that enable them to access sales data from any location allows them to quickly help any in-store shopper, enhancing the overall customer experience.
Insurance: Demonstrate value upfront — resistant mobile users, whether employees or customers, will be more likely to embrace mobile solutions when they’re easy to navigate and offer immediate value. Ease-of-use and a variety of functionalities will help users see the value of mobile apps and help employees overcome any misconceived reservations.
Supply Chain: Mobile means on-the-go — users and employees get the greatest value out of mobile solutions that work from anywhere and at any time, even offline. And, to truly drive efficiencies, companies should personalize their mobile offerings to meet their specific supply chain operations and day-to-day needs.
While every industry has unique areas of opportunity, and you must develop mobile solutions tailored to these specifications, certain lessons are universal. For example, creating an app that users actually want with clear value earns its digital real estate on users’ mobile devices. Any industry will benefit from a mobile presence that has the infrastructure and intuitive experience to be reliable and provide continued value.
In an overpopulated marketplace where customer loyalty can change at a moment’s notice, a well-planned mobile solution can help any company outpace its competitors. What’s more, a mobile solution that exceeds user expectations and needs can earn long-term loyalty and confirm the ROI of focusing on mobile capabilities in 2016.
Quick implementation is more important than ever. To date, just 15 percent of respondents with an existing mobile experience (either a mobile website and/or app) rated it as excellent. As someone living in the digital world, this could be perceived as a disappointing number. Instead, I am energized knowing that there is a lot to be done to live an increasingly brighter mobile future.
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Written by: Stephanie Lynn Trunzo, Chief Digital Officer and COO at PointSource.