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Mobile CRM Design, Part 1: Different Devices, Different Rules

Mobile CRM Design, Part 1: Different Devices, Different Rules

Too many companies adopt the "I'll just take care of everything in one single sweep with a responsive design site" methodology, noted Daniel Toubian, principal consultant for U.S. retail & consumer brands with Maxymiser. "The reasoning behind this decision is usually related to the immediate benefits... but responsive design cannot and should not be a brand's standalone strategy or 'quick fix.'"

By Erika Morphy CRM Buyer ECT News Network
10/29/13 5:00 AM PT

Most mobile app developers today have the basics of e-commerce design down pat. Increasingly, they are now thinking about the psychology of the user and how that should be factored into a mobile site or app's design.

That's where testing becomes essential.

"The features and functionalities of smartphones are inherently different from those on tablet devices," Daniel Toubian, principal consultant for U.S. retail & consumer brands with Maxymiser, told CRM Buyer.

Not a Quick Fix

"The psychology of how and why consumers use each mobile device differs drastically too," Toubian added. "So marketers really need to look at each mobile device on its own and analyze all experiences across engagement and checkout funnels accordingly to determine what's working and what areas need to be tweaked to deliver better results."

While there is a growing awareness of this approach, Toubian still sees too many companies adopt the "I'll just take care of everything in one single sweep with a responsive design site" methodology, he said.

"The reasoning behind this decision is usually related to the immediate benefits of responsive design -- adaptable content to multiple devices, significantly reduced marketing spend, centralized content management and improved SEO," he explained. "But responsive design cannot and should not be a brand's standalone strategy or 'quick fix.'"

Comfort in the Familiar

Also, it is important to realize that as design elements become more sophisticated -- after the proper testing -- there are some truisms that still must be followed.

For example, consumers still carry some -- many -- of their online browsing habits into the mobile environment, Elizabeth Zietlow, head of usability for eBay Enterprise, told CRM Buyer.

"They are transferring their established shopping behaviors and expectations from their high-speed, Internet-connected, large-screen and tactile devices, and attempting to accomplish these on devices with limited or compromised experiences," she said.

"For example, in our research consumers used browsers four times more than apps when shopping using their smartphone and tablet over the holiday season," Zietlow noted. "They transferred their search and product comparison behavior to their mobile and tablet devices."

Don't Be Shy

Another stalwart from the online world that carries over into mobile: Be very clear about your call to action.

This is not the time to be shy, Rob Grossberg, CEO of TreSensa, told CRM Buyer. "Users need to understand there is an item available to purchase and the steps they need to take to commence the purchase."

To that end, Grossberg suggests building flexibility into the app to test and adjust the wording for the call to action and placement within the app or store.

"Using A/B testing is critical," he said.

Also, "work to remove as much friction as possible between the click of the purchase button and the actual transaction," he advised. "Each additional step can drastically reduce the number of actual purchases."

Mobile CRM Design, Part 2: Refining the M-Commerce Experience.


Erika Morphy has been writing about technology, finance and business issues for more than 20 years. She lives in Silver Spring, Md.


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