With mobile and tablet usage continuing to rise, you know mobile is key to success. But are you still wrapping your head around how to define, implement, and optimize your business’s mobile marketing strategy?

Just in – results from the Adobe 2012 Mobile Consumer Survey show that consumers are using their smartphones and tablet devices to connect with brands, but there is significant room for improvement in the user experience. Participants shared their user experience (UX) when conducting mobile activities for both mobile websites and applications in five business categories: media and entertainment, travel services, financial services, shopping for consumer products, and shopping for consumer electronics. Survey responses from 1,200 mobile users reveal that:

  • Android devices lead the way in overall popularity at 51%, followed by iPhones at 38%. The numbers for Android devices skewed even higher for the young age group at 58%. As the most popular platform for young consumers, you must ensure that your sites are as optimized for apps and web browsing via Android devices as they are for iOS devices

  • For consumers who own both a smartphone and tablet, the primary device is still the smartphone (88%). However, recent Adobe Digital Index analysis anticipates that tablet visits will surpass smartphone visits by early 2013 and generate more than 10% of overall website visits in 2014. Designing for the tablet experience is quickly becoming a necessity to maximize conversions. Tablet users also appear to be slightly more valuable consumers – iPad users (62%) and Android tablet users (56%) reported spending more than $250 on consumer products via their devices over the past 12 months, compared to 58% of iPhone users and 53% of Android smartphone users.
  • In all categories, consumers identified speed and ease of navigation as the top two opportunities for improvement in their mobile experience.
  • Mobile website or mobile app? Consumers shopping on their mobile devices prefer doing so on a website due to convenience/ease (39%) and more features (21%).
  • Over 35% of mobile shoppers said product side-by-side comparisons, zoom/pan, video would increase the likelihood to make a purchase on their device.

So, as you add mobile-optimized implementations, consider these best practices in UX design:

Reduce touch events to conversion. Understand the business goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) you are driving toward with your mobile efforts. Keep these in mind and design the mobile experience with the path of least resistance to achievement. Conversion should occur within three touch events – two will be table stakes in the near future.

Design for mobile interactions. The tablet and smartphone user experience needs to focus on touch-driven controls as the primary visitor interaction, rather than mouse clicks and keyboard controls. Take advantage of mobile display controls such as finger swipe, touch, drag, pinch, and zoom. Use simple, large buttons to designate interactions and navigation, such as a large shopping cart or video play button. If designing for mobile retail, incorporate rich product visualization that is optimized for device type. Shift the user experience focus to embedded, large-viewer or full-screen interactive zoom and pan, 360-degree spin, and enhanced video functionality.

Optimize for speed. Even a one-second delay in mobile page load time equals 7% loss in conversion, according to the Aberdeen Group. Lighten the load on a mobile-optimized website by incorporating dynamic media content – images, video, and campaign banners – that automatically adjusts content size, resolution, and format delivery based on the device platform and network detection.

Make content “findability” easy. Mobile users have high intent. Majority of them use search before they do anything else on m-commerce sites, making mobile site search optimization crucial. Use explicit navigational cues for easy browsing. Implement auto-suggest and auto-correct in search input boxes to address the difficulty of mobile typing. Provide the most compelling, relevant top-search results optimized for screen size and location.

For more on the Adobe 2012 Mobile Consumer Survey, download the full report