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Latest Issue: May/June 17

Cereal

My friend EJ inhales cereal by the case. He hoovers it right out of the box or drowns it in orange juice. Yes, orange juice. Blech.

Apparently he’s eaten it that way ever since he was a kid. He says he was lactose intolerant but I’m doubtful that lactose intolerance was really a thing in the prehistoric age. Not to mention half of his childhood photos seem to revolve around him eating cake and ICE CREAM at a birthday parties, drinking MILKSHAKES or licking yummy-looking CREEMEES (aka soft-serve to non-East Coasters) from the shack on the beach where he and his family summered.

My grandfather eats the popular old man cereal, affectionately known as Grape-Nuts. If he had poor vision, I’d switch them out with rocks because cereal is expensive and I’m pretty sure rocks and Grape-Nuts taste the same but alas, even though he’s 95, he has the eyes of a hawk. Plus, he’s spent a fortune on his pearly-whites over the years.

Personally, I have never understood the appeal of cereal. Super sweet (or completely tasteless) silly-shaped objects dumped in a bowl of baby cow juice just isn’t my jam ESPECIALLY since they took away all the pirate tattoos and secret decoder spy rings from the sugary bottom of the box.

For a lot of folks, eating cereal for breakfast (or all day long as many code monkeys do), cereal is convenience. It’s fast, you can eat it with or without liquid (or utensils for that matter), it has a long shelf life (chances are you’ll eat it before it goes stale), and it’s great for throwing (as seen by toddlers and well, code monkeys.)

“Convenience” has been a BIG thing for a long time but the mobile world has given it new meaning. Users want answers to their questions before they’ve finished asking them. (Hello contextual search.) They want things now-now-NOW and they want them easy, without any hurdles or distractions.

What makes a mobile site convenient from a user perspective?

Speed. I know. I know. I KNOW. You heard all about speed in the 90’s when ecommerce first came into play in a BIG way. Unfortunately, the majority of marketers seem to have forgotten that this is often THE ultimate factor when it comes to getting someone to fill out a form, start a transaction, etc. There are a lot of whizbang packages to measure this and a FREE one that you can’t forget, no matter which of the chi-chi-la-la ones you choose.

Easily accessible, click-to-call-ready phone numbers. A phone number at the top and the bottom is a “must have.” If you have long pages, you should have one (or more) click-to-calls in the middle, too. A good rule of thumb is one phone number every view and a half or so.

Hoppers. Are your abandonment rates good on your mobile devices? (Are they better or lower than desktop?) Does your cart/checkout function well on a handheld or is it riddled with performance issues? Are your customers even ready to buy on a 2” x 4”? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you should consider implementing a hopper. A hopper can be a pop-up, a modal (sometimes), or even a page that you show BEFORE the user gets to checkout that tries to get them to the phone. They work well with a special incentive (example, $x extra off if you call NOW!) or a reminder of the current offer but be sure to test them even if you don’t have a deal. (Incidentally, hoppers aren’t just for carts/checkouts. They’re good for almost any place the user is struggling – including internal search.)

Alternative Payment Methods. If you don’t have any alternative payment methods, test them. (Start with PayPal.) If you do have them, make sure they are positioned appropriately – where and how the customer sees them on the page(s) typically makes a difference in your conversion.

A more robust abandoned cart/quote/lead program. Do you have a different abandoned program for your desktop leads than the one you use for your handheld and tablet leads? If not, you should consider developing one. Mobile users can often tolerate more frequency of emails. More important, they typically respond better to simpler (smaller file size, not as many links) and faster (fewer days between communications) programs. Plus, if you haven’t already, you should be testing integrating triggered text messages into your abandoned programs. They’re working like gangbusters right now, particularly because nobody else is doing them.

by Amy Africa, CEO, EightbyEight

Come and see Amy Africa at the DCA Annual Summit on 15th June- click here for more details