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The Mobile Only Challenge May 5, 2013

Posted by themobilephoneconnoisseur in Uncategorized.
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It was 20 years ago that the first web sites came about.

Taking the step from printed information to web was a long journey for many businesses, and newspapers for example are still struggling to figure out how to make the web profitable.

But in the past year we have come to a turning point. The regular web traffic, coming from desktops (Mac/PC) is on many sites declining, yes, declining! For any business wishing to be aggressive in marketing the fact is that customers are using a mobile device and thus the focus needs to shift to a mobile only environment.

But doing that does not just require ads to be reduced in size. The end to end experience needs to mobile only, because the customer may not even have a computer, scary thought isn’t it?

The desktop experience is as different from a mobile experience as printed paper is to a desktop experience. The challenge to move to a mobile only environment should not be underestimated.

Finding the customer, converting the customer to a paying customer, supporting the customer, getting the customer to purchase again or reduce churn. All this needs to be done by communicating and interacting with the customer, who is using only a mobile device.

Let’s take an example of how difficult it can be, even for a business that would not even exist if it were not for the smart phone explosion.

If you in the popular sports tracking mobile app Runkeeper, go to Settings and “Get one”. This takes the user to a web site, hardly optimized for a mobile device. But with all certainty most users visiting this web page will be using exactly that, thereby sub-optimizing the possibility to do more business.

Why? Well, most businesses have a legacy of assuming the user finds information from a web site, and then after that accesses a mobile web site or mobile app. But when the path starts from a mobile device the handling of that customer becomes confused.

Actually, the original hypertext revolution in the early 90s did for-see this situation of different devices, and originally intended the client (Mosaic mainly) to choose how to render the information. The idea was that browser would choose font, font size, line breaks, background color and so on. However with Netscape’s early browsers, the temptation to create attractive design killed those ambitions, which of course lead the way to the web explosion and gave us new world. It is so different that we have a really hard time imagining how we did any form of information consumption without the internet.

In the same way, we will have a hard time understanding how we lived with information only intended to be consumed with a screen size of 20 inches.

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