Originally published in America Retail

Globally, the mobile moment has reached critical mass. In 2016, mobile accounted for more than one-third of online Black Friday sales, marking a 40 percent increase over the last two years. Today over 60 percent of all Google searches are done on a mobile device. In much the same way that senior executives are taking the lead in the digital transformation of their companies, the smart executive is challenging her company to gain competitive advantage by taking advantage of the ever-increasing use of mobile in our professional and personal lives. The emerging reality is that if you aren’t providing easy mobile access to your company’s products and information, your competition will overtake you. And this is not only a Business to Consumer issue—purchasing departments are chock full of buyers who search and buy first on their mobile devices.

If you don’t yet have a strategy in place for an up-to-date mobile presence, all is not lost. You may be in an industry dominated by mobile laggards.  In fact, a recent Forrester poll showed that only 13 percent of marketers systematically integrate mobile into their marketing mix strategy.

Whether you have already adopted a mobile-first mindset or are just beginning to incorporate mobile friendliness into your strategy, there are cost-effective ways to accelerate top-line growth with the right mobile strategy. For some brands, this may mean overhauling your website to make it “mobile-first,” capable of delivering a remarkable, cohesive experience across devices. This approach includes design and content flow that cater to today’s consumer—for example, allowing for frictionless scrolling, limiting screen pinching, incorporating fonts that scale for easier reading, and including visual design elements that are easy to tap. For brands without a mobile site, or for those with drastic differences between their mobile and desktop experiences, a redesign should focus on making it easier for your customers to complete common tasks, such as searching, getting more information, comparing, ordering and paying.

Here is the most important lesson to take away from this article:  Focus on mobile site speed!  Forty percent of users will abandon a web page that has not fully rendered in three seconds or less.  Moreover, according to Google, mobile pages that load even one second faster can see up to a 27 percent increase in conversion rates.

Site speed is a measure of load time, taking into account how long it takes all of the content “above the fold” (or before you have to scroll) to be present and functioning for the mobile user. You might have a beautiful website and incredibly valuable content, but if you don’t have a fast and agile load time, you will fail to capture and engage the mobile user.

As you consider how to implement your mobile strategy, here are some important factors for your team to keep in mind:

Check your images, resources and the amount of information that loads above the fold–each of these can affect mobile site speed. 

Consider using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs)–they increase page speed, mobile friendliness and overall performance. 

Analyze the content on your mobile and desktop sites–if desktop and mobile pages do not align, this can affect ranking and traffic. 

If you decide to do an overhaul, wait to launch new mobile sites until they are complete–having a fully functioning desktop site on its own is better than having a mobile one that is not correctly implemented. 

Using these strategies will help improve mobile site performance and can also enhance search positioning. More and more, Google rewards sites that include a mobile-friendly experience, using this attribute as a valuable search ranking signal in their algorithms.

In our experience, we’ve seen over and over that mobile performance and speed drive top and bottom line results. Improving mobile site performance will lead to higher conversions, more repeat purchases and happier customers. And if conversion rates aren’t enough to convince you, consider that 43 percent of customers will go to a competitor’s site after having a negative shopping experience on yours. From gains in acquisition and search rankings to conversions and competitive advantage, the benefits are clear—now is the time to get your company focused on a mobile-first mindset.

Patrick Kuehn

Patrick Kuehn

SVP Sales and Marketing

Patrick Kuehn is Senior VP, Sales and Marketing at ObjectWave. He launched his first web start-up in Italy in 1996 and has held leadership positions in online sales and marketing ever since. Speaking 5 languages, he specializes in international business in the digital age.

Lou Amodeo

Lou Amodeo

Vice President, Customer Experience at Rise Interactive

Lou Amodeo is Vice President, Customer Experience at Rise Interactive, where he leads customer experience strategy development and execution for clients such as Salesforce, Clorox S.O.S, and Atkins. He and his team have gained national recognition with awards from MediaPost and Digiday, among others.

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