From texting and working to shopping and browsing, almost everyone accomplishes an uncanny number of tasks with their mobile smartphones. In fact, for the first time in history, phones are now used more for data than calling[1 / 2]. It’s no wonder then, that researchers and forecasters are encouraging businesses from all industries to implement ‘mobile-first’ strategies. If you aren’t familiar with the term, ‘mobile-first’ is the belief that mobile should be the primary design parameter and channel for businesses instead of the web.

Not convinced of this shift from web to mobile? Here are some powerful stats to think about:

  • Mobile will generate 43% of all global web traffic in 2017.[3]
  • Traffic from Wi-Fi and mobile devices will comprise 66% of all IP traffic by 2020.[4]
  • There are now more than 200 million smartphones in the U.S., and the average consumer picks up or glances at their phone 150 to 200 times each day.[5]
  • Two of every five U.S. households have only wireless phones.[6]
  • 10% of Americans own a smartphone but do not have broadband at home.[7]

While the dominance of mobile is big news, it isn’t really surprising, as the trend has been on the rise since the first iPhone. Brands are attempting to arm themselves for this technology shift, but many don’t have a concrete starting point, and can’t focus their targets to make valuable gains. A good place to start is by assessing your current mobile customer base, and similarly, your mobile customer experiences. It’s not enough to be mobile optimised; instead, brands need to view mobile as an “… opportunity to transform customer experiences and to invent new businesses,”[8] as Forrester states.

Let’s not forget: It only takes one poor mobile web experience to lose a customer’s loyalty, and with customers today being more empowered and tech-savvy than ever, having this weakness can result in catastrophic losses in revenue.

Of course, making mobile your primary design parameter is easier said than done. For some, it will require a restructuring of technology departments, while for others it will mean bringing outsourced mobile apps in-house. Yet, those who invest the time and effort into this consumer channel shift will make tremendous gains, beating their competitors to the punch—as was the case with the visionary brands who pioneered e-commerce structures back when brick and mortar locations were still the golden standard. One only needs to think of Jeff Bezos who, in the 90s, struggled to convince investors that his online shopping company would eventually be profitable and successful. That company, Amazon, is now the world’s eighth largest retailer, posting a sales/revenue of $135.99 billion in 2016[9].

In other words, time isn’t on your side when adopting a mobile-first strategy. You must be aggressive, quick and creative with how you structure and re-imagine your brand’s mobile experience. It’s a tall ask, but those who do it right will reap rewards that go beyond profit. They’ll become innovators, leaders and visionaries that all other companies aspire to be like.

Want to read more on mobile and how it relates to CX? Check out our previous Monthly Must Reads blog post, we’ve compiled a list of worthy reads on this very subject!

[1] Wortham, Jenna. “Cellphones Now Used More for Data Than for Calls.” May 13, 2010.
[2] Hasto, Shawn. “Data Revenue Tops Voice in the U.S.” March 20,2014.
[3] Forrester Research Inc., “Predictions 2017: Mobile Is The Face Of Digital Landscape: The Mobile eBusiness Playbook,” November 2016.
[4] Cisco Systems, Inc., “White paper: Cisco VNI Forecast and Methodology, 2015-2020,” June 2016.
[5] Forrester Research Inc., “Vendor Landscape: Mobile Engagement Automation Solutions,” November 2015.
[6] Pew Research Centre. Desliver, Drew. “CDC: Two of every five U.S. households only have wireless phones.” July 8, 2014.
[7] Pew Research Centre. Desliver, Drew. “CDC: Two of every five U.S. households only have wireless phones.” July 8, 2014.
[8] Forreseter Research Inc., “The Global Mobile Revolution Is Just Beginning,” April 2015.
[9] stock: financials: Inc., 2016.