Getting mobile right

Posted by IAB Australia On March 08, 2015

As a marketer, you probably spend a lot of time trying to work out what drives your customers, how to generate stronger connections with them to drive stronger returns for your business.

But many Australian companies are missing out on embracing the most important growth area they have – mobile.

Most estimates of Australian smartphone adoption suggest that four in five of us has a smartphone — one of the highest rates in the world. So why do so many major Aussie businesses still not offer their customers mobile-friendly sites? It’s unlikely to be because they haven’t noticed the trend. More likely, they’re unsure exactly what to do.

With that in mind, here are our top three tips for getting mobile right:

1. Start with the diagnostics

This doesn’t have to be rocket science. Jump on your website and ask yourself:
• Can you read the text without squinting, zooming, or scrolling?
• Are any of the images slow to load on your mobile connection, or even broken?
• Do you have to pan around to view the whole page?
If your answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then your site isn’t mobile-friendly. For the more technically inclined, you can also use our tool that will tell you if there are specific technical problems with your site.

2. Focus on the core (just like yoga)
People don’t browse on mobile like they do on desktop. If you worry about the time or effort it would take to replicate your whole desktop site, don’t. Your mobile site should be lean, comprising only the essentials. Think about how your customer will find and use your site, and focus your efforts on meeting their immediate needs. Do they need to be able to browse through your goods and buy them online? Or do they just want a phone number and a map?

3. Have an exit strategy

Studies show that customers often use their smartphones to research, call, and visit physical businesses. They don’t necessarily want to enter their credit card details into the small screen — but they do still want immediate access to other ways of buying. For many retailers, the best thing to do is create a mobile-friendly landing page that focuses on the basics, like location, hours, and contact information. Some mobile sites even have a button that lets people email the progress they have made on mobile to themselves, with the intention of completing the remainder of the transaction on desktop later. We’ve put together 25 principles of mobile site design to help you think through the details.

Cruising to success

Cruiseabout sells ocean and river cruises online. Last year, they decided to make it easier for customers to visit them on mobile. The first decision they took was to make their site work using “responsive design” principles (ie the site dynamically changes, depending on the device on which users access it).

Next, Cruiseabout tested a number of mobile-specific features including adding a phone icon for users to call them, moving search to the top of the page and using a “sticky” header bar that stays on screen as users scroll down the page.

These were small changes. But together, they made a big difference. Following the changes, Cruiseabout saw conversion rates rise by a staggering 122%.

Cruiseabout have done a fantastic job driving revenue growth, not because they decided to tick the box on having a mobile site, but because once they built their site, they worked hard on getting it just right.

To me, it’s a great lesson in giving mobile the time and attention it deserves. And in never letting anyone tell you the details don’t count.


Lisa Bora is the Head of Mobile at Google Australia

IAB Australia

IAB Australia is the peak trade association for online advertising in Australia. As one of over 43 IAB offices globally and with a rapidly growing membership, the role of the IAB is to support sustainable and diverse investment in digital advertising across all platforms in Australia.