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Shawn Cabral Vice President Sitecore

What are the latest trends in mobile and how are these being used to increase conversion?

For most brands, the main devices now used to access their web sites are smartphones and tablets.  This information might be a shock to some brands who are still convinced that it is the desktop and laptop that still rule.  One example I know of is the UK travel brand Ski weekends, who researched which devices were used to access their site – 56% of their website traffic came from smartphones and tablets.

There is a wealth of data showing this shift from desktop and laptop to smartphone and tablet. 16% of UK households according to Ofcom are now ‘mobile only’ and don’t have fixed line broadband, and 38% of UK internet users state that their smartphone and tablet are their most important devices when accessing the Internet.

Marketers are not moving fast enough to keep up with the consumer, our recent research carried out with Econsultancy, talking to UK brand marketers, found that 36% of our survey respondents had a mobile optimised site, leaving 64% who didn’t.  Our research with B2B Marketing found that 46% of UK B2B brand marketers rated their website’s performance on mobile and tablet devices as ‘very poor’ or ‘poor’.  

Making your desktop site fit on a mobile is not the easiest starting point, I’m sure that you as a consumer who uses a smartphone to access websites, will know that there needs to be a new approach in place to ensure the brand experience delivered through using a smartphone or tablet is on par, or ideally even better, by using these devices.

38% of UK internet users state that their smartphone and tablet are their most important devices when accessing the Internet.

Shawn Cabral, Sitecore

A great case study for this is with our customer Chester Zoo and their solutions partner Code Computerlove.  Chester Zoo is a very progressive organisation in terms of its approach to digital, and early in 2013, it did the analysis to see the percentage of its traffic that was originating from just mobile devices – it found that 30% of visitors to their website were using smartphones.  The analysis also showed that mobile users were starting to bounce away from what was a desktop web site.

Chester Zoo saw an opportunity with mobile to enhance the customer experience, increase site traffic and generate more revenue.  The zoo introduced the option for customers to buy tickets via their mobile phone, and simply scan a QR code at the ticket gate for entry – this speeded up the entry process, generated revenue and improved the customer experience.  

The visitor’s mobile is integral to the zoo visit, with maps and guides to help visitors, what’s on information for the visit, and quick access to additional purchases such as gifts and tickets.  Mobile revenue has increased nearly threefold, and 45% of all visits to the site are via mobile.

The best way to approach mobile is to see it as part of your overall customer experience, appreciate the opportunities that it opens up for your brand and work out your strategy.  Similar to Chester Zoo, how can mobile and tablet devices ensure your customers get the most from your brand?