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Mobile User Behaviors You Should Understand

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Mobile User Behaviors You Should Understand

Mobile devices are an important part of most everyone’s daily life. If they aren’t in our hands, they are close by so we can check them regularly. Because of this, businesses around the globe have embraced mobile, building mobile apps and mobile websites at a meteoric rate.

Any business that is engaged in mobile marketing should understand that Internet users have different behaviors when accessing the Internet from their mobile device than they do when accessing it from their personal computer. By understanding these differences in behavior, it will allow you to create better and more appropriate experiences for your mobile users.

Here are a few of the differences that will help you understand your users better.

Mobile User Behaviors You Should Understand

Different objectives

When it comes to the objectives users have when their sit down at their personal computer to access the Internet, they are typically somewhat different than when users access the Internet via their mobile device. Account for these differences to create powerful user experiences.

People will generally sit down at a personal computer when they want to browse and generally satisfy a curiosity that they may have. On the other hand, when users search on a smartphone, it is typically with a more specific intent. Mobile users tend to want quick answers to specific questions, while more time-consuming search activities are generally saved for sitting down and browsing via a personal computer.

If you understand these differences in user objectives it will help you understand how to manage experiences differently across devices to best serve your customers’ needs. Not only should you optimize the user experiences based on how your user is choosing to engage with your brand, but you should also make it easy for users to move between the different touchpoints.

Make sure you keep in mind that mobile users will tend to be more distracted, often accessing their device while doing other things such as watching tv or traveling to or from work. Meaning that in addition to being driven by more purposeful behavior, they will generally have less time and less focus to achieve their goal.  Mobile experiences need to fit this behavioral tendency, offering users maximum efficiency with minimum effort.

Different behavior

Consumer behavior has changed dramatically over the past decade. These days, customers will check reviews and compare prices on their mobile phone while they are out shopping. In fact, while in stores, 90% of shoppers will turn to their smartphone to help them make product decisions. (SessionM) According to that same survey, the top mobile activities, while in-store, were comparing prices, looking up product information and checking online reviews.

Whether in the showroom or sitting on the couch at home, mobile is often considered by customers to be a research tool in the purchase process and customers will tend to switch to their personal computer or go into a store to complete transactions. While this is changing, and more customers are making purchases via their mobile device, nearly 70% of all e-commerce transactions still take place on personal computers.

Willing to share location

With an eye on privacy and security, desktop users are much less likely to share their location with brands than mobile users, which makes perfect sense, because desktop users are usually at home or in the office. On the other hand, mobile users are not only more likely to share their location with brands, but in fact, 83% of mobile users consider location services as crucial to their mobile experience. (Skyhook)

To be able to leverage location-based services for your brand, consumers will expect you to give them a clear reason for sharing their location. In exchange for giving them this information, modern consumers expect to receive benefits, such as more receiving more relevant offers and information. In research performed by Google, 61% of consumers said they would be more likely to buy from brands that use location services to customize information to their location.

Mobile users tend to be younger

It probably comes as no surprise that smartphone ownership is highest among the youth.  86% of 18 to 29 year olds own a smartphone and 30 to 49 year olds are not far behind at 83%. But smartphone ownership tends to fall off after that, as only 58% of 50 to 64 year olds own a smartphone and for those over 65, it falls off dramatically to 30%. (Pew)

Additionally, youth tend to use their smartphones more than those in older age groups. According to comScore, 18 to 24 year olds spend more time on their smartphones per month, on average, than any other group (90.6 hours). 25 to 34 year olds follow them at 82.5 hours per month, on average, and it follows a steady decline as age increases.

Gender differences

Gender has been shown to affect mobile behavior. In a recent study from Liftoff, they found that women were nearly 34% more likely to make a purchase via mobile apps than males. It was also 40% less expensive to acquire female users who made a purchase than male users who made a purchase. Female users are also nearly twice as likely to make a reservation on their smartphone as men. Understanding these differences can be very valuable helping you plan and prepare for building a mobile app or website or delving into a mobile advertising program.

Final thoughts

Not only is it important to understand your mobile users but you should research, analyze and understand your mobile points of contact with your customers and be ready to meet them with relevant and appropriate experiences at each touchpoint. Examine the purchase journey your users take. Where do they learn about your products? Where do they make a purchase? What research do they do in between? The customer journey and your mobile experiences should converge with you providing exactly what customers want.

Rather than acting based on best guesses, get to know who your mobile customer is and what they are trying to achieve on a mobile device.  Don’t be afraid to test the assumptions you have or to test and see how your customers respond. Objective information from your customers can help you avoid making educated guesses and allow you to make decisions based on who they are and what they want.

Image: Shutterstock


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Diwiyne Johnson works with Vanity Point – a Website Design & Mobile Application Development Company in Phoenix. She has a deep rooted obsession for content writing and loves to read technology books. In her free time, she writes articles and shares new updates through various social media channels. http://www.vanitymobileapps.com/

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