Few marketers transcend mobile-first to revolutionize customer experience: Forrester

Mobile maturity is rare among marketers, with 44 percent still shrinking desktop experiences for smaller screens, and while 42 percent put mobile first, only 14 percent are truly transforming the customer experience, according to a new report Forrester Research. 

The report, The Best of Mobile User Experience 2015, marks the second time Forrester has analyzed the common characteristics of successful mobile experiences. In the year since the previous analysis, companies such as Staples and Fandango have made significant strides to improve their mobile experience while leaders such as Duolingo and Uber reinforced their standing. 

?The best mobile experiences provide their users with immediate value from the moment they download and open the application,? Deanna Laufer, analyst at Forrester Research and lead author on the report. ?These leaders prioritize relevant functionality and perform reliably throughout the experience.

?The laggards? They hassle customers with unnecessary content and disappoint ? or crash ? in moments of need,? she said. 

Deliver clear value
The attributes of leading mobile experiences include delivering clear value, optimizing efficiency and simplifying presentation. 

One marketer getting it wrong when it comes to clear value is Charmin with its sitorsquat app that is designed to help users find a public restroom but requires them to enter personal information and scroll through pages of terms and conditions before providing the desired information. 

American Airlines and JetBlue Airways are getting the mobile experience right by prioritizing core functionality and immediately showing users of their apps the details of their upcoming trips with easy access to buttons for checking in or retrieving their boarding passes. 


Savvy mobile marketers are also incorporating content that is relevant to context in their apps. For example, Fandango?s Go Now feature suggests nearby movies playing at that moment. 

Apps also need to perform reliably and smoothly, be fast, support easy navigation and minimize input. 

Strategic focus
Simple designs are best on mobile. This means apps should focus on content not extras, rely on intuitive touch gestures as well as minimize labels and icons. 

Forrester recommends that marketers serious about improving their mobile experience develop a strategic focus, maintain dedicated mobile resources, keep design and development teams small and schedule regular product releases. 

Most marketers still do not understand how mobile fits into the customer journey across devices and channels, according to Forrester. 


As a result, there is significant opportunity for those that do understand, such as Starbucks, whose mobile app drives 16 percent of all transactions. 

Missed opportunities
A key takeaway from the report is that marketers cannot get away with doing mobile on the cheap. As consumers spend more and more time on their devices, poorly designed mobile experiences will take a bite out of revenues and lessen the chance of earning a place for their app on customers? phones. 

When customers encounter a poor mobile app, 47 percent will use a different app with similar functionality, 35 percent will delete it and 15 percent will not use it. 

Beyond the growth in mobile adoption and use, there are a number of in-market examples that prove why marketers need a better grasp on mobile. 

Several highlighted in the report include that Walgreens customers who use both mobile devices and shop in the store spend four times more than store-only customers. Additionally, during the 2014 holiday season, 70 percent of Walmart?s and 60 percent of Amazon?s and Target?s holiday online traffic came from mobile devices. 

?The majority of? smartphone and tablet owners ? 68 percent ??have attempted to make a purchase on ?their device,? Ms. Laufer said. ?But two-thirds have failed? to complete a transaction because of ?obstacles encountered during checkout. 

?No? wonder conversion rates on smartphones? linger below 1 percent,? she said. ?Although retailers report ?that their site conversion rates are only a? few points higher at 2.7 percent, that difference ?equates to an extra $80 billion for retailers in 2015.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Marketer, New York