A Mobile-First Internet; How to Avoid Missing Out.

Mobile first internet is an approach where prioritization of design and user experience is given to mobile sites as more internet users are making the switch to using mobile devices for the research and purchase of products and services.

Mobile use over the last decade has changed the way clients interact and engage with various brands, forcing companies to adapt their traditional marketing strategies to accommodate one where mobile first is the new norm. These miniature computers in our hands give us access to so much information with just a few finger taps on the screen. In fact, almost everyone, if not everyone has a smart phone today where they automatically reach for when they want information about a certain subject, product, and even services. If you are a business owner or leader, it is time to consider the Mobile First Approach as it can be significantly beneficial for your business.


What Is Mobile First?

A term coined by Luke Wroblewski in 2009 but made famous in 2010 by the CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, mobile first is the practice of developing or designing an online experience for mobile devices first, allowing developers to scale up from the mobile design towards the desktop website design later.


This is based on the concept where there is a lot of real estate when it comes to designing for a desktop platform, allowing the core website design elements to seem incredible and provide an excellent user experience. However, when this desktop-first design is adapted for mobile, the technology that makes the website incredible cannot be adapted for mobile devices, leading to a sub-par mobile experience which may feel more like an afterthought for consumers instead of an actual finished product.


With mobile first, scaling up designs gives developers more freedom when adapting designs. Once you have a well-functioning mobile design, you already have core features and elements on the platform, allowing you to gradually enhance the mobile site to fit the requirements of a desktop design.


Mobile First Statistics

If you have any doubts about the importance of mobile first and how it can have an impact on your business, consider these statistics:


·  95% of all individuals in the United States own a mobile phone.

·  Each day, people spend more than 3.5 hours on their mobile device.

·  51% of shoppers have made online purchases with a smartphone.

·  93% of millennials have compared online deals using a smartphone.


 Additionally, mobile commerce share figures are also increasing from a 52.4% market share in 2016 to the current 72.9% market share, meaning that almost 3 out of every 4 dollars spent on online purchases today is through a mobile device.


Besides spending, we are ingrained on our mobile devices, spending time with mobile apps for a wide variety of purposes be it for games, sports, reading the news, increasing productivity, and more. We are even relying on these apps for our daily tasks or routines such as ordering groceries, listening to music, and catching up with the latest trends. This means we are using mobile devices to live our lives efficiently, making them an integral part of our lives.


Benefits of Mobile First

Based on the statistics shown above, you should at least be partially convinced of the mobile first strategy as it can prioritize your business’s mobile web capabilities over the desktop site. Here are some benefits of being mobile first:


Customer Reach

From a sales perspective, the mobile first approach is now an integral component. In fact, more than 50% of consumers in a study stated that they researched products they wanted to buy using a mobile device. This is attributed to the relationship millennials have with their mobile devices, a factor that has altered the buying habits of target audiences for many companies as millennials now hold the most purchasing power. For many millennials, mobile devices are how they gather information, purchase most of their products, and find information or answers to their queries when interacting with brands.


Information Provider

Based on a survey by Gallup, 46% of smartphone users agree with the statement that they cannot imagine life without their smartphone, going as far as to feel anxious if their phone were lost for a day. This is due to the fact that these devices are heavily relied on as a source of information. The content sought by mobile users vary from that of the desktop.


Those who use mobile devices prefer short and easy-to-digest content that can be easily “consumed” when they have a short moment to surf the web. This is also the reason why social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram are some of the most popular platforms as they provide instant gratification for online entertainment, especially during the times when one can grab a few minutes while waiting in line or during short commutes.


Superior Customer Experience

Since most smartphone users use their mobile devices to research information and compare prices, providing a seamless mobile experience is a priority for all brands. With competition being so tough, when a brand does not deliver, the consumer will simply find another brand that can. One of the best examples is a mobile site that has a poor load time or being too complicated to navigate, resulting in a higher bounce rate and poor conversion rates.


Top Mobile First Marketing Strategies

To avoid missing out on the mobile-first approach, here are some of the top mobile first marketing strategies that you can adopt to ensure your website structure, design, and content reflect it.


Optimizing Size and Content

The first step is to make sure that any information marketed can be seen properly on a mobile device, this means creating a design that can be scaled to fit a small screen size. When it comes to optimizing content, a site that does not convert can result in your consumers zooming in and out or struggling to locate a navigation option. This can be very frustrating and lead to the consumer exiting to find a simpler alternative.


Responsive Web Design

One of the most important aspects of a mobile first design is to have a responsive website where designers use HTML frameworks to organize content in grids to choose how each section is displayed differently on various sized devices. This ensures that the content translates effectively for each device.


User Experience

Having a digital strategy that works for your desktop site does not necessarily mean it will work on your mobile site. Creating a mobile friendly website requires a more engaging experience for consumers where developers can put a creative spin on traditional marketing tactics. Consider every aspect including design, wording, length of wording, brand personalization, and more. This year, Google has even made indexing mobile first official this year, a step where Google is now predominantly using the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking a website, another big reason why the mobile first approach should be taken seriously.


Social Media

Since most mobile device users spend the majority of their time on social media platforms, having your brand on the same platform automatically increases brand visibility and web traffic. It also shows that your brand is keeping up with the latest trends. Features such as having livestream events or enabling eCommerce abilities can improve trust levels, raise engagement with your target audience, and motivate potential customers to move to the next phase of the sales funnel.


Mobile Ad Marketing Campaigns

Be aware of your brand terms as others can outbid you on them, causing other businesses to show above your organic listing. By bidding on your brand terms, you will have the coverage you need. You can also start running mobile marketing campaigns to capture mobile customers who are doing a mobile search for products or services that are related to your business.


Mobile First Vs Mobile Only

In mobile first, design prioritization is given to the display on mobile devices before the desktop versions are developed as many users prefer mobile devices. However, since users spend most of their time on apps and mobile browsers, some companies have a mobile only approach where they develop applications that exclusively work only on mobile devices. This means that mobile only products or services are not developed for desktop sites at all.



In conclusion, if you are serious about achieving your business goals and growth, you should take your mobile presence seriously as the numbers have already proven that a huge portion of your target audience researches and purchases using their mobile devices. This means that you are losing out if you do not have a mobile presence. For your business to be successful, you must have a mobile first approach to ensure your marketing attempts are reaching your target audience as more consumers are relying on their mobile devices. By staying on top of the mobile first approach, you can easily generate new leads, increase conversion rates, and reach your key performance indicators (KPIs).


At DDM Generation, our team of digital marketing experts stay on top of the latest mobile first strategies. By partnering with us, we continuously test and monitor your business’s mobile presence to optimize the performance of your website. Reach out to us for more info on how we can help you achieve your business goals.

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Jenna has over 9+ years of experience in the marketing space with an expertise in search marketing.