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3 scenarios to consider for mobile app testing

It is no secret that smartphones and tablets currently account for the majority of global Internet traffic. 

In fact, a recent report from Ericsson predicted that 90 percent of all Internet traffic will be driven by smartphones by the end of 2021. This means that whether you are in financial services, insurance, travel, media or retail, digital businesses need to ensure that their mobile applications are on-point with what consumers expect. 

To make sure that consumer demands are met on mobile apps, organizations first need to determine which features are absolutely critical to transfer from the Web to mobile that affect positive experiences, attract and retain customers and boost conversion rates. The most effective way to do this is through comprehensive testing of the site.  

To ensure that your organization is conducting the most effective mobile app testing, there are a few different scenarios you should consider when formulating testing plans:

Scenario 1: Browsing and converting on a smartphone: When a customer browses and converts using a smartphone, detail plays a very large role during both the browsing stage as well as at the time a decision is made. 

Since smartphones typically have smaller screens, it is important to test key product characteristics to detect what context or level of detail works best within the smaller space. 

When it comes to images, you can also test zoom and thumbnail options to see which sizes are most successful.

Scenario 2: Browsing and converting on a tablet: The larger screen of a tablet offers more opportunities to experiment with details and spacing as compared to smaller screens associated with smartphones. This affords companies the ability to adjust the level of detail and test whether the additional elements are positively impacting conversion rates. 

Additional details that can be added include items such as order totals, additional travel and insurance packages or promotion code options. 
Scenario 3: Browsing on a smartphone, but converting on a tablet or vice versa: If multiple devices are used to browse and convert, providing a consistent user experience is key. 

You must account for activities that began on one device and end on another as seamlessly as possible. One way to accomplish this is to test welcome messages that acknowledge that your site ?knows? your customer and reminds them of items in their cart when they switch from their smartphone to a tablet.  

Since there are many different scenarios when it comes to testing, it may seem daunting. 

However, there are three key secrets that can help you take your mobile app testing and user experience to the next level:

1. Optimize without boundaries and experiment. There is no magic formula for the perfect mobile user experience. 

The best way to learn what works best for your mobile site is to experiment and take a ?test-learn-repeat? approach. 

One of the most effective and efficient ways to experiment and increase engagement, content consumption and sales is through A/B and multivariate testing. 

2. Target your mobile audience smartly. Targeting a smaller mobile audience with popular, pre-existing content can be an inexpensive and low-risk way to backup your case for investing in mobile optimization. 

Mobile content that is specifically tailored for mobile devices has been found to greatly enhance the user experience and increase traffic. 

With smart mobile targeting, marketers are able to provide the most effective user experience for customers.  

3. Avoid technical restraints. It is estimated that 50 percent of the mobile site operators? audience does not support JavaScript-based testing and targeting solutions or cookies, thus preventing persistent JavaScript-based testing and targeting for these particular mobile users. 

So, how should this inform your search for the ideal mobile testing and targeting platform? 

You want to invest in a non-intrusive platform that does not depend on JavaScript operations for producing content variations. That way, there is no need to be concerned about your users? browsers or settings when it comes to targeting and testing.  

BY APPLYING testing to these scenarios you are well on your way to mobile app optimization success. 

Doug Cohen is director of professional services at SiteSpect, Boston. Reach him at .