2015-05-January-Mesmerized.jpgDigital marketers: 2015 is here, and it’s time to play catch up. For the past 10 years, we’ve been trying to keep pace with the latest innovations, strategizing and re-strategizing to implement the next great personalization feature or web design technique. But that period of innovation has ended and, moving into 2015, we find ourselves in a new period of digital transformation. By fully implementing these innovations in the coming year, marketers can help companies transition into fully digital-first business.

Where should we start? Mobile.

On Cyber Monday, we saw an increase in sales via mobile devices -- with almost a quarter of all sales stemming from mobile. Tablets continued to bring in more sales than smartphones, but what was interesting was that more consumers are browsing the web via smartphones than tablets. In fact, the amount of web traffic coming from mobile phones is twice the amount coming from tablets.

So why the disconnect? Why are so many more consumers browsing via mobile but not completing purchases?

Designing for Mobile

The first place to look is the design of mobile websites. We’ve come a long way in terms of designing for mobile, but responsive design is no longer a differentiator -- it’s an expectation. Responsive design ensures a uniform brand experience across devices, but marketers need to go one step further and cater to how consumers want to interact with a site on specific devices. It’s important to design around consumer motivations to fully tap into opportunities on mobile.

Instead of thinking of responsive design as a universal fix, marketers in 2015 need to analyze the utility of their websites on smartphones. Simply shrinking a brand’s desktop site to fit the size and resolution of a screen isn’t enough -- often entirely new site design is necessary to serve the specific needs of mobile users.

Integration with Payments Software

Beyond design, mobile sites must also have better integration with payments software such as Apple Pay and PayPal. Consumers don’t want to type credit card information into a tiny screen over and over again. Brands should take advantage of the fact that consumers are usually already connected to multiple payment apps and features on their smartphones. By leveraging those existing payment integrations, companies can make it easier for consumers to complete one-click transactions on mobile devices.

The result is a completely streamlined process. Imagine being able to buy a piece of clothing on a mobile website simply by connecting your PayPal account. The process could be as easy as the click of one “Pay with PayPal” button.

Security and Consumer Confidence

Finally, marketers must address consumer perceptions around the security of mobile purchases. Shopping on mobile devices is a growing category, and according to IBM, sales via iOS were well above those coming from Android devices during Cyber Monday.

Yet even with the growing prevalence of both iOS and Android devices, there are some consumers who remain wary about purchasing via mobile because of security concerns. Further growth in the mobile commerce market will require vigilance around security, as well as transparency about how transactions are managed on mobile platforms, so that customers can feel confident completing transactions on devices.

2015 will be another year of rapid growth in mobile and for marketers looking to connect with customers across all types of devices and screens around the world. Brands who want to stay relevant will need to thoroughly implement digital marketing innovations from the past decade. With creativity and a solid strategy, marketers can change the game in the New Year by making mobile an easier, more pleasant shopping experience for consumers.

Title image by Michael Summers (Flickr) via a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license