If you aren’t thinking mobile first, prepare to be last

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Stop the treadmill, finish your kale and listen to the real resolution you need to follow for 2015: think mobile first.

I’ve been reviewing 2014 trends with clients during the past few weeks in order to prepare for 2015. One trend that’s been remarkably consistent and industry-agnostic: the ever-increasing percentage of site traffic from mobile and tablet users.

The most remarkable example I witnessed was with a local hotel client. Month after month last year we watched as smartphone and tablet traffic slowly crept up on desktop traffic until December, when it comprised more than 50 percent of all site visits for the first time. And it doesn’t appear to be backing down in January, at least so far, even with the holiday travel season behind us.

Your company’s digital strategy needs to be mobile-first in 2015. What does that mean? Well, it starts with a mobile-optimized user experience. Whether it’s a mobile app or a responsive website, customers must be able to easily navigate your web property on any device.

This holds especially true for e-commerce sites. A recent IBM report shows combined purchases from smartphones and tablets accounted for more than 22 percent of all cyber sales in November and December 2014. Twenty-two percent doesn’t sound like much at face value, but when you translate that into revenue, that’s a pretty big chunk of change.

Even if customers didn’t purchase from your site on their mobile device during the holidays, they will definitely remember the experience, good or (especially) bad. And that may influence whether they come back when they’re ready to commit.

Pay attention to your mobile vs. desktop traffic this year, and adjust your digital strategy accordingly. Your user experience is your brand. Make it mobile-first, or risk being last.

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