Anticipating upcoming shifts and trends is vital for companies to stay one step ahead, this is especially true when planning a marketing strategy. In 2008 it was predicted that mobile would overtake fixed internet access by 2014 and indeed it did, the shift to mobile search naturally followed.

 

Shift to mobile search

Via SmartInsight

The shift to mobile search increased year on year and in May 2015 Google announced that more searches were carried out via mobile than on computers in 10 Countries including the US and Japan. However, Google declined to provide any in-depth information on when the shift occurred or stats on mobile vs. computer searches.

 

So what does this shift to mobile search mean for companies?  It is more likely than ever that a consumer’s first interaction with your website will occur on a mobile so having a website that is clear, easy to use and fast when accessed on a phone is more vital than ever. It is therefore important that you have a mobile optimised website, as a user is unlikely to stay on, or return to your website if their initial experience is bad, in fact only 9% of users will stay on a mobile site or app if they can’t find what they want, it’s too slow or it doesn’t satisfy their needs.

 

However, it is important to remember that the way people use the internet on their mobiles differs to how they use it on their computers. Searches on mobiles are carried out more frequently throughout the day however, the time spent browsing results and websites is likely to be far shorter. Hence, Google has said the shift to mobile search has created ‘Micro-Moments’. They suggest mobile searches fall broadly under 4 categories: ‘I want to know’, ‘I want to go’, ‘I want to do’ and ‘I want to buy’. In response a business needs to fulfill 4 vital criteria- ‘Be There’, ‘Be useful’, ‘Be Quick’ and ‘Connect the dots’.

 

Be There

 

Search for the topics most relevant to your business on your mobile. Do you like what you find? Make sure your ad’s are still relevant to mobile searches and your website is still clear and easy to navigate. Whilst the purchase of goods or services is the ultimate goal it is important to be present for a broader range of consumer needs and curiosities. Mobile searches are more likely to be used for information gathering rather than purchases that doesn’t mean they don’t have value for your business. In fact, 51% of users have discovered a new product or brand when conducting a search and 1 in 3 have purchased from a company other than the one they intended because of the information provided in the moment that was needed.

 

Be Useful

 

Users favour websites that contain concise, useful information when searching on a mobile rather than those pushing a sale.  Mobile searches are often made whilst on the move so create customised location specific mobile ads to show you are nearby when they search for a specific product or service. In fact, 61% of mobile users say they are more likely to buy from a company that customises mobile information to their location.

 

Be Quick

 

You have less time to make an impression on a mobile user so make your website as fast and user friendly as possible! Eliminate steps: by use one-step functions for sales and sign-in and display click to call buttons. Anticipate needs: Use previous customer behaviour and login data to customise future experiences. Load fast! 40% of shoppers will wait no more than 3 seconds before abandoning a retail site.

 

Connect the Dots

 

It’s important to remember that you don’t have mobile, P.C or In-store customers, you just have customers. They may experience your company across any or all of these mediums before they make a purchase decision. It is important that their experiences are positive whichever platform they choose. They may gather information from your website before making a purchase in your store, a poorly designed and slow website may lose you this sale even though it is not completed on your website. All interactions are valuable even if they don’t provide immediate results.