In the morning, the average person no longer leans over to turn off their alarm clock. They pick up their smartphone, read some emails and check their agenda. This constant interaction with technology continues through every moment of the day, and retailers must embrace it and plan around it to successfully engage with their customers.

Customer Behaviour

Tom Francis from Session Digital explains that using our insight into how customers interact with us helps us engage with them a lot more effectively. “When your customers pick up their phone first thing in the morning, you can use targeted, mobile-friendly content to appeal to them at that time of day. In the evening, they may have more time to browse on a tablet or laptop and may be more open to a longer email or video.” “Timing and correct engagement are key, and with such diverse types of devices available, we need to consider how a website is used on a smartphone, smart-watch or desktop,” says Session Digital Account Manager Andrew Stokes. “It is unlikely these devices are used in the same way, so the user experience needs to be thought of across each platform.” “To make the best possible experience, we need to consider different functionalities. Having no mouse on your smartphone requires your calls to action to be a reasonable size and easily tapped with a thumb,” continues Andrew. “There is less space to add attractive banners, so go simple, keep it clean and try not to distract the user from the ultimate goal of purchasing, downloading or data capture. “For e-commerce sites, the user tends to start the journey with a search engine. Google’s Mobile Path to Purchase report states that ‘74% searched on mobile using a Search Engine,’ so be sure that your landing pages are mobile-optimised.”

The Trend Toward “Phablets”

 Designing an effective UX used to be simpler as desktop screens were all similar in size. But as our online interactions evolve, so should the design for a website. “One device that needs consideration is the big screen smartphone. Often referred to as ‘phablets,’ the supersize smartphones have grown significantly in popularity in the last few years,” states Session Digital Account Manager Sam Sutcliffe. “As the mobile device landscape changes, online and app-based businesses must adapt,” says Sam. “The insight provided by Localytics suggests that phablet users engage more, and for longer, than those using a smaller screen smartphone. This may also mean they are more likely to convert once on your site. “Confidence in smartphone shopping has come a long way since early iterations of the iPhone and Galaxy devices, with users now not only researching but purchasing on their mobile devices. If your business relies on browser or app traffic from mobile devices, then there is a strong argument to adopt a phablet-led approach to UX and design.”

 Cross-Device Tracking

With phablets and a growing variety of devices being introduced, users can often have more than one smart device. This introduces a challenge for companies trying to understand their customer’s behaviour as they browse on each device, which reinforces the importance of cross-device tracking. According to Session Digital Account Manager Candice Hamilton, “Cross-device tracking allows us to track a user session, which starts on one device but continues on another. This provides us with a holistic understanding of the user's behaviour, and with this data, we can deliver content that is relevant for every digital touchpoint. “One way of doing this is to get the user to create an account and drop a cookie that doesn't expire. This allows you to track the user's journey; however, the risk here is that cookies can be deleted.” Social media logins allow you to serve content to social media feeds based on what products the customer has viewed on your website. “I had a recent cross-browser experience after browsing ASOS,” says Candice. “I dropped off the site and later picked up my phone that evening. When I opened Facebook, I was retargeted with the same products in my News Feed. Session Digital “This was handy in that I didn't have to go back to the site to look for those products if I had limited time (say on the train home). Selecting the product from Facebook took me straight to the product page where I could buy it, making the experience much faster.” However you look at it, mobile is changing the way we use the Internet. Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt sums it up perfectly when he says, “If you don’t have a mobile strategy, you don’t have a future strategy.” To learn more about Session Digital, visit their website.