With mobile growing increasingly popular, companies need to think about how they design mobile websites. Source: Shutterstock

With mobile growing increasingly popular, companies need to think about how they design mobile websites. Source: Shutterstock

Gartner survey finds marketers struggling with mobile websites

CUSTOMERS are growing increasingly dependent on smartphones. As a result, companies are keen on striking the right balance between form and function when designing experiences for their mobile websites.

However, according to Gartner, many marketers are struggling to deliver on customer expectations in this regard, which is a cause for concern as more than 80 percent of engagement is expected to come from mobile by 2020.

“While many marketers recognize the need to design for smaller real estate, intermittent connectivity, and fast, simple interactions, often the needs, goals, and expectations of the end-users are omitted from mobile strategies,” said Gartner Senior Research Director Jane-Anne Mennella.

“This results in mobile websites that are just scaled-down versions of desktop websites with identical content and features. Not surprisingly, these mobile sites have high abandonment and low conversion, turning into a source of irritation and frustration for customers.”

To help businesses, Gartner has identified three essential elements that marketing leaders must address:

# 1 | Start with gaining an intimate understanding of your customers

Customer behavior, needs, and motivations on mobile devices differ from those on desktops. Marketing leaders should determine what role their mobile site serves for their customers and prospects, what they want to accomplish and how they use their mobile site.

Mobile sites that translate this knowledge into focused, validated mobile experiences have high adoption and customer satisfaction levels, and deliver conversions.

# 2 | Collect and use data from the existing mobile experience provided

Gartner emphasizes that a mobile site should never be a condensed version of a desktop site.

Leading e-commerce companies are a great example of mobile design as most of them tend to provide very different experiences on desktops as against on mobile phones.

Marketers must take a data-driven assessment of content to ensure that their mobile site has the amount and type of content and functionality their customers need to accomplish their goals.

# 3 | Speed and performance come first, but other goals are important too

Many organizations test their mobile site’s speed and performance but stop their testing efforts after that. Marketing leaders must conduct user research and testing on mobile sites before, during and after development.

According to Gartner, this will reveal where interactions are confusing, where customer journeys are prolonged or get interrupted by environmental as well as design elements, and where content gaps exist.