"It's Not About the Device, It's About the Experience"

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Improving customers' brand interactions on mobile starts with a focus on the customer rather than on the device.

Too many marketers are focused on mobile devices rather than focusing the consumers using the devices, according to findings from Sitecore's “Global Consumer Mobile Research Study.”

“It's not about the device, it's about the experience,” says Charlotte Ziems, Sitecore's VP of content marketing and editor-in-chief.

The survey of more than 4,500 consumers in 11 countries found that though consumers rely heavily on mobile for from everything from their daily alarms to texts, messaging, social media, and searching the Web for specific information, 60% feel that their mobile expectations aren't being met in terms of the user experience, the continuity across channels, or customer service available.

This is an issue of concern to marketers because the quality of the mobile customer experience affects not only immediate purchases, but future ones as well, the survey found. Eighty percent of consumers polled said the mobile experience was a priority when choosing to make an online purchase, and 76% said that a good mobile experience influences their brand loyalty to some extent.

The survey also found that when expectations aren't met, 93% of respondents would complain to customer service, purchase from an alternative brand on that occasion, or would never purchase from that brand again.

“Too many companies are focused on things like responsive design rather than focusing on how to use mobile to expand their business,” Ziems adds.

One way to do the latter, Ziems asserts, is for marketers to change their perspective toward the mobile experience. “They should map out the customer journey and evaluate what parts of that journey need to be improved,” she says.

Ziems adds that customer experience expectations will continue to evolve. According to the survey, 77% of respondents think their expectations and requirements for mobile experiences will change within the next three years. More than a third of respondents (35%) expect that they'll want more personalized mobile apps/websites, while one third see faster payment methods as a future expectation, and one quarter expect that they'll want mobile apps that can adapt and react to their location.

Among the enhancements that brands can make to improve customers' mobile experience, according to the survey, are better security (cited by 39% of respondents), more convenience (25%), and improved speed (22%). Additionally, 84% of respondents said they'd like to have additional security features built into mobile apps/websites. Among the most-cited features were password login (52%), auto log-out (35%) and security questions (34%).

The customer experience for branded apps also has room for improvement. Respondents said the most important elements of branded apps are offers/discounts (cited by 70%), points awarded for purchases (63%) and information about the nearest stores.

Overall, the most important elements of a good mobile customer experience are convenience (48%), security (46%), speed (42%), and user experience (23%).

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