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The Modern Marketing Blog covers the latest in marketing strategy, technology, and innovation.

What Smartphone Users’ Mobile Mindset Means for Brands

Feel naked without your smartphone? You’re not alone. That phenomena — and the move to smaller and smaller screens — has pushed marketers to adapt their practices and technologies to provide a mobile-optimized experience. That much isn’t new. But as consumers have grown more and more reliant on their smartphones, a mobile-optimized site isn’t enough. You have to reshape the experience to fit the new mobile-only behavior.

When consumers pick up and unlock their phone, they enter a distinct mobile mindset, where whatever purpose they’re looking to fulfill, they expect comfort and escapism. This new mobile mindset affects the content they’re like to consume on their mobile device, and subsequently, has a huge impact on their buying behavior.

That is the main conclusion of The Truth Behind Smartphone Behavior, Clicktale’s latest research with The Wharton School. Our in-depth analysis of mobile taps, scrolls, zooms, and user journeys of more than a million consumers will bring you up-to-scratch on what guides smartphone buying behavior.

Entertain Me

When users are in their mobile mindset, they don’t want challenging content or want to think too much. Which means that consumers are less likely to engage with scientific content or anything that is simply factual. Instead, they seek entertainment and relaxation. Our research found that, on a mobile device, consumers are 35 percent more likely to engage with feature articles and sports than hard news.

The Need for Speed

Most marketers know that the mobile experience needs to be slick in terms of speed. Google research recently found that 53 percent of visits are abandoned by users if the page doesn’t load within three seconds. Three seconds!

And our research found that the need for speed extends to user journeys and the content itself. The journey needs to be as short as possible. Also keep in mind that fast and functional content on brand websites or apps, including clearance items, coupons, and store locators tended to fare much better in terms of engagement than long-form content, such as Q&As or long features, for example.

Convenience, Convenience, Convenience

Because consumers are in a relaxed (borderline lazy) mobile mindset when they interact with their smartphones, convenience is everything. In fact, it’s so important that nearly a third (31 percent) of consumers admit they are happy to pay more for a product or service if the mobile shopping experience is better. Millennials especially place great importance on mobile experience, with 43 percent saying they would pay more for something provided brands give them a five-star shopping experience. Mobile users are even happy to pay more in shipping fees than desktop users ($3.5 vs $3.3 respectively).

Image that shows shipping cost acceptable per device

Building the Mobile Marketing Mindset

So, the three key takeaways from the research for marketers looking to improve the customer experience on mobile are: Make it entertaining, make it easy, and make it quick. But more than that, the research shows the importance of understanding the intent behind consumer decisions on mobile devices. In my experience, marketers are far too focused on metrics such as conversion rate and cart abandonment to notice what really makes their customers tick.

Technology is partly to blame for that trend. Analytics on conversion rates, page clicks, social media impressions, and the like have been around for years now. The opportunity today is to move to  experience analytics — where it’s possible to gain a much deeper understanding of customer intent through the capture of app taps, scrolls, zooms, pinches, and more — and then use data science to interpret the data’s meaning. Turn the pixelated view you have of your customers into crystal clarity.

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