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Is mobile now king?

Evidence overwhelmingly suggests that we have reached a point where thinking mobile-first is not something to bear in mind for the future – but rather, where we are right now. Brands and businesses that fail to adapt to this new reality risk losing touch with their audience.

Here is a brief overview of how consumer behaviour is evolving in the context of the multi-screen landscape:

  • 53% of all emails are now opened on mobile devices.

  • Mobile email opens have increased by 180% in three years.

  • 27% of consumers plan to use some form of mobile payment in the next six months.

  • Mobile now accounts for 40% of all online retail sales.

In light of such compelling trends, it seems clear that the mobile experience must be a key area of focus for brands. However, evidence suggests that the speed of behaviour change within the average business has struggled to match that of its consumers.

A recent Econsultancy study asked top UK retailers to rate their organisation's understanding of its customer journey for a range of audiences and contexts. For the segment 'customers who primarily use mobile devices', only 51% of respondents felt their organisation had a 'strong understanding' of the journey.

Elsewhere, an analysis of 50 high street retailers carried out by Somo revealed:

  • 20% do not have a transactional mobile website.

  • 30% do not have an iOS app.

  • 46% do not have a website that supports responsive design.

Judging by these figures, it’s clear that brands need to up their game with mobile. We are living through an astounding period of technological evolution. But if businesses fix their sights too rigidly on any one particular type of device, just as they feel they’ve 'caught up', they may well look up to find the landscape has yet again transformed itself – requiring further catch-up. Businesses need to realise that we’ve entered a landscape in which the only constant feature is rapid change. Those that prosper will be the ones that aren’t in a constant battle against change, but have cultivated a culture that 'flows' with it.

Rather than fixating on any specific device, brands need to cultivate a much more holistic understanding of what 'mobile' is and what it demands. Paul Adams, VP of Product at Intercom, elaborates:

'Mobile' is not about devices, it’s about access to consuming and publishing information. For me, obsessing about specific devices was a bad path (they change too frequently)... and obsessing about phone versus tablet was a bad path (they have merged into one larger category of portable screen and continue to evolve all the time). Information via screens not devices – this is the key idea.

In other words, 'mobile' is a mindset to be cultivated, rather than a piece of tech to be served. The 'mobile mindset' required is a relentless focus on understanding the customer journey, and all its shape-shifting contexts and touch points – from desktop, to smartphone, to tablet, to smart watch, and beyond.

To keep up with evolving consumer needs, brands will increasingly need to embrace smart software solutions like censhare, which enable efficient publishing across a range of channels and platforms. Take a look at our Mobile Channel Management solution to find out more.