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Mobile site or mobile marketing – which first?

Some examples of alternative strategies from retailers

It’s a bit of a ‘chicken or egg’ question, but when it comes to mobile commerce, what should come first – a responsive site or mobile optimised marketing? Or both together?

The answer to that question really lies in weighing up the quick wins from mobile optimised campaigns, offsetting poor user experience by driving mobile users to a non-responsive site, and mitigating lost potential revenue by waiting to launch both together.

Q1 of this year saw tablet sites achieving higher conversion rates than traditional desktop sites, and the prediction that by 2014, the mobile Internet is expected to overtake desktop internet usage. Despite this however, lots of big brands still don’t seem to be following a best practice approach.

An integrated mobile strategy - Sainsbury's

Although not perfect, supermarkets seem to be leading the way with end-to-end mobile strategy. Sainsbury's is broadcasting mobile email messages (with an additional link to view a desktop version), and clicking through to a mobile site that affords for a good device agnostic experience.

Sainsbury's mobile marketing

Focus on mobile site - House of Fraser

Unlike supermarkets, department store House of Fraser has a fully functional mobile website, but still fails to broadcast mobile optimised email marketing - including a lot of content and small font that is difficult to make out on a mobile device, although it does take advantage of local search.

House of Fraser mobile marketing

Focus on mobile marketing - Laura Ashley

There is no denying that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it seems mobile marketing strategy wasn’t either. Rather than investing in expensive template redesigns for mobile, retailer Laura Ashley have implemented simpler 'mobile aware' using larger touch-friendly calls-to-action, keeping links apart, and moving to a single-column design. Unfortunately though, the emails click through to the desktop site, which feels seems counterproductive yet common, and can’t possibly be giving the fullest ROI and conversion optimisation.

Laura Ashley

No apparent focus on either - Liz Earle

Almost half of businesses still have no mobile-optimised site or app, and Liz Earle is one of many retailers that seem to have ignored better converting and more affluent tablet users, focusing purely on desktop shoppers.

Liz Earle desktop

So if you’re creating a business case for mobile optimised sites, download our mobile marketing strategy guide to ensure you follow best practice, help you to prove the concept, and exploit the opportunities of mobile commerce.

By Rhian Harris (was Simms)

Rhian Harris is an online marketing all-rounder and guest blogger for Smart Insights. With over a decade of experience of all digital media and ecommerce from utilities, travel, charity and retail sectors, Rhian is now a digital marketing consultant working with businesses to deliver and optimise their performance on any aspect of their strategy. IDM qualified, Rhian also contributes to the Econsultancy blog and other expert websites as well as her own business, Consult&C Digital. You can connect with Rhian on LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

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