Founder and CEO of Globale Media, an AI-driven mobile advertising platform, and a seasoned marketing professional.

You can’t underestimate the importance of mobile in today’s business world. A study from India found that young adults are spending 5.1 hours per day, up from 3.5 hours, on their mobile devices since the pandemic began. Going off the assumption that most work-related tasks are still being conducted via desktop, we can assume that the better half of inquiries connected with entertainment, communication, daily tasks and personal usage fall on mobile.

With an eye toward mobile, companies worldwide are doing their best to accommodate users’ needs and ensure a mobile presence for their companies. Wherever a business launches a new website, updates media materials or develops a new sign-up form, it must have an “optimize for mobile” step in the project implementation cycle. But, in fact, optimization for mobile is only part of the picture when it comes to being mobile first.

What does it mean to be ‘mobile first’?

A mobile-first approach means putting the mobile experience first, giving it priority over the desktop experience. Whatever it is that a business wants to broadcast from its platform will first and foremost be communicated via mobile, and only after on other platforms. Mobile comes first, all the rest second.

Mobile first is often used in relation to design and development, but in reality, it involves more than that. It spans the whole concept of user interaction, including user experience and convenience, while requiring brands to keep up with the latest trends and technology.

Why is a mobile-first approach important?

Mobile is a new normal. In 2020, there were almost 7 billion mobile users worldwide using their phones regularly, with anywhere from 46% to 61% checking their phones right after waking up. While there may be much debate on how this habit influences productivity and mental health, it doesn’t change the reality of mobile applications. Every day, people use a number of applications to communicate, search for information, order services and goods, track time and tasks, entertain themselves and much more.

Wherever a person goes, they go with a cellphone. That’s why your ad or notification is more likely to reach users on mobile than on a desktop. Today, a lot of people do things on the go. If they want to click on an ad or check a piece of information, they do so on their phones when they have a second. Deprive them of this instant interaction via a mobile app or mobile-optimized website, and they may put purchasing decisions on hold.

Mobile experience optimization was named the most important ranking factor in Italy for good reason. This preference can be backed by data from Germany and France, where the conversion rate for mobile-optimized websites is significantly higher than non-optimized websites.

So, how can you become a mobile-first company?

Remember, it’s about people.

While focusing on the tech, do not forget that you’re doing it for the end consumers: your clients. You don’t simply optimize your business for mobile; you optimize it for people. There’s also a need to establish a baseline for how you get these users and to explore their customer journey and all the touchpoints. It’s important to come up with several journey scenarios to brace yourself for various user acquisition strategies.

While this is also essential, it goes beyond focusing on the look and feel of the app or platform. Without understanding why users decided to use your app in the first place, even the best practices of UX and UI won’t stand a chance. Do your preliminary research; otherwise, the final product won’t be worth it.

Understand how to satisfy user expectations.

Help users achieve the goals that brought them to your product or page. Provide relevant information required for decision-making within your mobile platform. By ensuring the app’s convenience and the presence of relevant information, you’ll ensure a longer duration of in-app visits, higher user satisfaction and loyalty toward your service.

You do not simply put content in a desktop-long paragraph for mobile; you tailor it to a mobile experience. Providing sought-after information also means working with content localization. Used strategically in the right place at the right time, it can address users’ concerns and boost their satisfaction with the overall experience.

Measure everything.

Along the way, you need to understand what will help your business grow. Get yourself mobile analytics tools to align your spending and your final results. This gets at the core of what many think of when they hear of mobile strategy.

In 2021, you don’t measure results and optimize processes based on a gut feeling. For a successful transformation into a mobile-first business, there’s a lot of data to collect and analyze. First, gather data about the customer journey. Design an application or mobile platform with a specific UX in mind, monitor how users perceive it, detect and improve weak touchpoints and see how it performs. Using the data insights, you can achieve incredible results and allow your users to enjoy the best mobile experience.

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