Smartphones and tablets, collectively “mobile devices,” are the fastest adopted technology in history.
They have been adopted faster than cell phones, personal computers (PCs), televisions, even the Internet
and electricity. The speed at which mobile devices have penetrated the global market is unprecedented,
and it is therefore unsurprising that businesses are struggling to adapt their business strategies to the
mobile landscape. Just 5 years ago, it was simple: sales would come direct from a website, and techniques
were employed to improve the user experience and conversion rates. Websites were made easier to
navigate with toolbars and click-down boxes, transactions were simplified with one-click purchases,
and security was improved with reCAPTCHAS and https. All eCommerce tools and merchandising
techniques were designed for large screens with keyboard and mouse input.
The proliferation of mobile devices, however, has changed the landscape for delivering content to
users, and these devices have brought both challenges and opportunities to businesses. In terms of the
challenges, websites designed for the desktop are not appropriate for touch input and smaller screens,
so customer experience suffers, negatively affecting the top line. The solution to this problem is not
simple, as the website is not the only way to access content on a mobile, and there is not even such a
thing as a mobile website. Still, websites need to be adaptable, as they are accessed on a range of screen
sizes, from 3.5 to 10 inches. Businesses also must invest in a dedicated app for both smartphones and
tablets, which involves the use of native apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.
This analysis argues that whilst the mobile channel adds complexity to business strategies, it also
creates huge revenue potential. Its fragmentation is bewildering at times, with smartphones, tablets,
phablets, and transformables accessing content through the mobile Web and through apps, and on a
variety of operating systems. Frost & Sullivan believes that in order to take full advantage of this new
landscape, businesses must first understand the different use cases of various mobile devices and access
points. With this understanding, businesses can tailor content for specific devices, driving stronger
engagement, higher conversion rates and, ultimately, higher revenues.