Preparing for “Mobile Only”

The speed at which the mobile market evolves is probably unprecedented. Thus it is, that a trend we were talking about 3-6 months ago, as ‘something for the future’, is now a reality for some mainstream businesses. Mobile only seemed like another vague prediction, with no clarity on when, how or even whether, when you asked the more difficult questions about data and statistics. 

Yet consider this report which says that a third (33%) of Barclays digital banking customers are mobile only. Even more so, they are app only. Your own experience with consumers may suggest a very different percentage. However, there is no denying that there is a segment of the digital client base of any bank or B2C organisation that will be a mobile only client. I have spoken to more than one well informed business who are preparing to serve the mobile only consumer. 

This world is coming at you, and fast. The question is, are you ready for it? I recently tried to set up an account for a major utility provider via the iPad and found that their registration process was not optimised for an iPad/ Safari browser combination. In general, it’s much easier to register and set up on a desktop browser and transact on the mobile phone. 

But what if the consumer wants to do the whole thing on a smartphone/ tablet? With the PC market in decline, there will soon be households who have tablets and smartphones but no PC. A simple test every business should conduct is to explore how easy or difficult it is for consumers to sign up and conduct ALL their transactions via the mobile/ tablet device. 

Alongside that you should be tracking the increasingly fragmented technology base of your consumers to keep a tab on the mobile only segment. Be mindful of course that your own data may be misleading. I have come across a number of business in the past year, who believe that the mobile app or the mobile optimised website is not as significant for them, because their customers aren’t using it. They ignore the fact that customers aren’t using those channels because they are under developed, and provide average to poor customer experience. 

The mobile only customer is a reality today and their tribe, though small, will grow. Ignore them at your own risk. 


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