How many devices do you use on a daily basis? Maybe you wake up and check your phone, watch a video on your tablet while you eat breakfast, and then head into work. Once there, you’re likely on your computer part or most of the day, as well as your smartphone. If you have a wearable device, there’s one more screen to check. Once you’re home, you’re probably using a TV, personal computer, tablet, or all three to entertain yourself and while spending time with friends and family.

Your own behaviors are proof that customers jump from device to device. Your brand experience must be able to move alongside your customers and it must do so in a personalized and individual way. Again, think of your own behavior – are you more likely to make a purchase if the interaction is relevant to your specific interests or needs?

Consumers are incredibly fickle, and becoming more so as media and technology advance. Just like you, everyone is in a rush, which means that there’s a growing intolerance towards errors, especially when it comes to mobile transactions. Econsultancy found that 16% of adults would become more likely to consider a competitor after encountering an error, and 13% would abandon the transaction altogether and find somewhere else to buy – frankly I’m surprised this number isn’t higher. Combine that with 5% more purchase completions across mobile devices this year, and you have a significant amount of revenue lost from poor mobile experiences! The moral of the story is that consumers move from device to device quickly and somewhat randomly – and often use several at the same time – but still expect your brand to know them and not ask the same questions over and over. The best tactic is to present equally well no matter what device is in use, and employ personalization tactics to learn what your customers like and want – and what they don’t.

Some statistics to keep in mind about American consumers, according to PEW’s research:

  • 83% of 18-29 year olds, 74% of 30-49 year olds, and 49% of 50-64 year olds have a smartphone

  • 34% of mobile internet users say that their mobile device is their primary source for online content

  • 42% of adults own a tablet

  • 80% of adults own an internet connected personal computer

What’s more, according to Nielsen, Americans on average own four devices, and engage with screens for more than 60 hours per week – that’s over half of their waking hours!

Adoption of Mobile Personalization Is the Next Big Step

According to a recent eMarketer article, only 24% of respondents in a Forbes Insight study have a “fully integrated and connected customer communications and data gathering system” at their organization. However, 56% said those systems were partially integrated, and they were taking steps towards a more streamlined process. Quite literally that means that the majority of marketing communications are not based on customer data. So what exactly are you saying to your users?

On the mobility front, as an industry, we’re doing much better from last year: 76% of marketers are focused on integrating cross channel marketing, up from 60% in 2013. But we still have a long way to go, as just 23% had actually integrated mobile messaging, and only 16% had begun to use push notifications (eMarketer), which are necessary for a truly seamless and personalized experience (Forbes Insights). Further, only 17% CMOs say that their mobile strategies are fully integrated and aligned with their overall marketing strategies, and imply that many marketers still view mobile as a campaign, not a strategy (MediaPost). Without realizing it, companies that are slow to adopt cross channel and are missing out on or even turning away purchases, as their brand experience and messaging is broken on many potential customers’ favorite devices.

When brands integrate customer data, they open their doors to customers that are paying attention to their material throughout the day, and remove the need for the viewer to repeat processes that were completed elsewhere. A great example of this done well is Marks & Spencer’s mobile commerce site, which syncs with their traditional website, allowing shoppers to switch seamlessly between the two – a boon to those who look up products online, go to the store to physically see the items but do not find it convenient to purchase at that moment, and then place orders after they leave the location.

— Neil Capel, CEO & Founder of Sailthru