The Importance of the Mobile First Impression

The Society of Digital Agencies has the latest study to show that a bad website user experience is the weak link in most companies. 77% of agencies believe this to be a centrally significant weakness.

Now imagine that you literally only had 50 milliseconds to turn any negative impressions around. Believe it or not, this is the attention span of the first impression, and although an individual may remain on your site for a few minutes, most of the decision about your brand has been made within this first 50 milliseconds.

This is even more true on the mobile platform.

78% of the people who find your local site using a mobile phone will purchase from you as long as your first impression is good. This is a substantially higher percentage than the PC market (61%), and it makes sense. People who are out and about are actively looking for solutions to problems, not browsing lazily at home on a laptop.

The question now becomes how to properly engage this audience, and that answer is getting more difficult with every new business generation.

In 2014, the majority of people who made purchases on mobile phones preferred to do so through a website, not an app. There have been no studies specifically done on the topic since then, but the rise in app downloads and the general trend toward app culture seems to point to a market that is more open to applications. Either way, you must understand how to make an impression on a mobile device with a website or an app.

Mobile Commerce Requires Great First Impressions

Visual Constraints

As magical as the smart phone is, there are still two major limitations that keep a business from being able to simply repurpose a laptop website as a mobile website. The physical screen of smart phones is much smaller, and the bandwidth capabilities of smart phones do not rival that of laptops.

With limited space and resources, you need to get to the point more quickly in the mobile landscape. Many companies will lead with a direct sale as a first impression rather than introducing the company brand within the mobile platform. There are also some technical considerations, such as the cultural norm to scroll up and down on a phone rather than from side to side.

Other things that make a good first impression to a consumer on a mobile website include large text, and a minimum of multimedia. Because the bandwidth on mobile devices is somewhat limited, it is a bit more difficult to introduce your product using full video, so your best bet is to stick to keyword rich text that invokes an organic search engine response and speaks to a very precise target market.

The bottom line: Get to the point! If you want information, ask for it using a straightforward approach. One of the best ways to create an instant relationship is to utilize a sign-in form that is immediately comfortable to the user.

App Impressions

As for mobile apps, your first impression has to do with your Google Play or iPhone store landing page just as much is your opening screen. Keep in mind that your app needs to be downloaded before people can get an impression at all, so put your stock in your store avatar and description. Solicit reviews from first responders who enjoy your application so that new customers will be able to see how your app performs in the real world.

In both cases – website and app – the way that you introduce yourself to your audience is essential. Do not waste time. Put your best foot forward and ask for information, letting your customer know that you will make sure this trust pays off in the future.

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