When it comes to the digital future, go back to the basics

July 9, 2012 by Experian Marketing Services

When it comes to the digital future, go back to the basicsWe aren’t commuting to work via hover boards like Marty McFly in “Back to the Future,” but he did get a few things right about what was coming. Technology has greatly progressed and there are new devices that weren’t even imaginable in 1985. The iPhone and iPad are two examples.

Welcome to the future, home of the digital landscape, populated by smartphone users always seeking the newest technologies. For consumers this is a very exciting time, but for businesses it can be a bit daunting. With more and more options available for consumption, how do businesses adapt?

According to ecommerce-guide, 82.2 million Americans own smartphones. They use their phones to search the Internet, compare products and even make purchases. In fact, Neilsen.com predicts that nearly half of all the worldwide sales will be purchased on smartphones by 2013. So how can businesses be successful in this new digital landscape?

To be successful in a mobile world, you must create a mobile-optimized website.

To be successful in the now, think back to what you did to become successful when you launched your first website. It’s time to go back to the basics. To be successful in a mobile world, you must create a mobile-optimized website.

Think about your website now. What are the most popular pages, what path do you want your visitors to take? Picture how your visitors would use your website in an ideal world; now create a simplified version of your website highlighting those strengths. Shorten the text so that scrolling isn’t necessary. Add buttons and calls-to-action so visitors can easily call and email you. Include forms that are mobile-optimized and easy to fill out with a touch screen. By thinking about the consumer’s experience and implementing the things that you would look for on a mobile site, you will place your company ahead of the competition.

Another perk of a mobile website includes a faster site and load time. Because a mobile-optimized website is smaller with fewer pages and less options, it operates at a much faster speed and will create a much more enjoyable experience for your visitors.

In addition to improving the customer experience, it will also be easier for your customers to find your site. Google recognizes mobile sites and increases relevant rankings for people who are searching from their mobile device. Maybe your competition ranks above you on a PC, but if they don’t have a mobile site, then you will rank above them on a mobile device. So someone searching for your service from a mobile device will happily land on your easy to use mobile site.

In order to ensure success in the digital world, be sure to implement the same innovations and safe-guards you would put on your website as well. Invest in an m-commerce platform so that the purchase process from your mobile site is seamless and user-friendly. To account for consumers’ hesitations about buying on a mobile device, be sure to add data quality and security tools to your website and m-commerce platform.

According to a recent data quality study by Experian QAS, of those companies implementing digital techniques and collecting mobile contact data, only 30 percent manage its accuracy at the point of entry. This is worrisome in regards to the quality of the data companies are collecting from these types of sites. As mistakes are more easily made on keyboards and touch pads of mobile devices, companies should be taking extra caution that they are collecting only the most accurate information. By meeting the demands of the digital consumer, companies are broadening their audience. However, not employing data quality tools simultaneously will hurt the competitive advantage they are receiving.

Unlike in “Back to the Future,” we cannot hop in the DeLorean and return to 1985. The future is upon us and in order to be successful, businesses must adapt to the changing digital landscape. To succeed at this, companies need to remember one key thing: go back to the basics. Think about how companies became successful in the dotcom age and apply those learnings to now.

Create a well thought out mobile website. Optimize it for search and m-commerce. Ensure it is safe for users to use. Instill data quality best practices to keep your database clean. Most of all, think outside the box and innovate to remain ahead of the competition.