As QR-Codes become more visible on print advertising in New Zealand I thought it would be interesting to see whether they are being used correctly.
It stands to reason that a QR-Code is going to be scanned by a mobile user with a smartphone or tablet device. For this reason, the target website or webpage should be mobile-friendly. Many advertisers just link the QR-Code to a standard desktop website. This delivers a challenging experience to the smartphone user, having to pinch/zoom/pan around a full size webpage to find information is a frustrating experience. Basic functions like click-to-call, find us and contact us are either not present or diffficult to use. Normal links which are easy to click with a mouse, are notoriously difficult to tap with your finger and often the user finds they have accidentally tapped an adjacent link.. a costly operation in terms of time wasted getting back to the original page in order to try and hit the desired link.
When faced with these challenges a mobile user will often give up, putting it in the too hard basket. All of a sudden, the advertiser’s incorrect use of the QR-Code has resulted in a lost customer… the complete opposite of the desired result.
About the QR-Code Weather Report
Every weekend I read two major New Zealand newspapers. The Weekend Press, a Christchurch based publication and the Sunday Star Times, a national publication. I scan every QR-Code that appear in these two publications and rate them using a simple spreadsheet. The QR-Code Weather Report will be published periodically.
By recording incorrect or sub-standard use of QR-Codes I hope that advertisers will lift their game and ensure that when a customer takes the time to scan their code they receive a decent mobile experience.
By recording correct uses of QR-Codes I hope that advertisers will be encouraged to make wider use of QR-Codes.
Congratulations to those advertisers who scored a 5!
To those with lower scores, I commend you for being forward thinking and including QR-Codes in your advertising strategy. With very little effort you can improve the experience that customers receive when they scan your code. Contact us if you would like to discuss mobile friendly solutions in more detail.
I thought it would be interesting to see how many of these top brands cater for the Mobile Internet user by providing a mobile-optimised website or landing-page (see methodology below)
NZ's Most Valuable Brands
Rank Brand Mobile Friendly?
1 Telecom NZ no
2 National Bank no
3 Air New Zealand no
4 Fisher and Paykel no
5 Contact Energy no
6 Bank of New Zealand YES
7 SKY no
8 ASB Bank YES
9 SKYCITY no
10 Warehouse Group no
Only 20% of New Zealand’s ten top brands deliver a mobile friendly experience on first visit. Now lets take the top ten Global brands and see how they compare?
Top 10 Global Brands
Rank Brand Mobile Friendly?
1 Apple no
3 Microsoft no
4 IBM no
5 Walmart YES
6 Samsung YES
7 General Electric no
8 Coca Cola YES
9 Vodafone [UK] YES
10 Amazon YES
We see that 60% of the worlds top 10 brands cater for Mobile Internet users.
Why are New Zealand brands trailing behind in delivering a good web experience for mobile users?
Is Mobile Important?
Yes! Customers Are Mobile. They use internet-connected mobile/smartphone devices to find products and services located nearby. If they read your advertisement in a newspaper or magazine over their morning coffee, they aren’t about to run to the nearest desktop PC to type in your URL. They are far more likely to do it then and there on a smartphone.
Internet content is increasingly consumed on mobile devices (smartphones, tablets etc). Estimates vary but between 7% and 15% of content is viewed using a mobile device and this is set to increase significantly over time.
In early 2011 Google hosted Think Mobile – a gathering of top marketing executives, industry visionaries and agency leaders for an event on all things mobile. The catch cry for this event was It’s Not Too Late To Be Early. The key points from this event are summarised as follows:
Build a Mobile-specific Website Be prepared to let go of your desktop content.
Build something and get it out there.
Don't spend forever doing it.
Build Local one-third of mobile searches have "local intent"
Make it Personal Harness the personal aspects of mobile.
Track Independently Track activity on your mobile site separately from your desktop website.
Iterate Tweak the site as you learn how people use it
When I watch my teenage children use mobile technology, I see your future customers. And they have a very low tolerance for bad web experiences. If it takes too long for your web content to load, or they need to hunt, pan and zoom around your desktop website to find basic information, then they will just move on.
Businesses without a mobile-friendly web presence will lose customers because of this.
What are we doing about it?
At GeekStuff we are passionate about mobile technology and committed to helping business get onto the mobile web.
We chose goMobi as the preferred solution for our clients. goMobi is a out-of-the-box mobile website solution for businesses of all sizes. It allows the client to choose from a number of pre-defined page types which are then styled with the clients color scheme and logo. This is achieved via a point-and-click browser-based site designer. goMobi is a fast, easy and affordable way to establish a mobile-web presence for your business right now.
In gathering the above statistics I thought about how the average mobile user finds information about a company or a product. They are likely to use the Search function built into their mobile device. Using a iPhone (IOS) I followed the these steps for each brand:
- Type the brand name from the table directly into the Google search field in Mobile Safari
- Chose the first link in the returned search results
- Determine if the landing page is mobile-friendly
While some of the brands do have mobile pages, usually as a m.domain.com or domain.com/mobile or similar address, if the average mobile user relying on search is not directed automatically to these pages then their experience is not mobile-friendly.
Google – Think Mobile - Presentation Summary page
The Time for Mobile is Now by Jason Spero, Google (PDF file, 8.5 MB)
10 Mobile Trends by Mary Meeker and Matt Murphy, Kleiner Perkins (PDF file, 2.7 MB)
In February last year, Google hosted a webinar called, “Think Mobile.” Included was a “wake-up call” to businesses about going mobile and what steps they should take to get there. For example, they noted that approximately 15% of all Web traffic now is mobile. That means not having a mobile site is like closing your website one day each week.
They then outlined a five-step program that businesses should follow for going mobile. Those five steps proved to be a strong validation of the philosophy behind the award-winning goMobi service. The five steps Google outlined during the webinar are:
- Build a mobile-specific site. (Three statements of importance: “Be prepared to let go of your desktop content.” “Build something and get it out there.” “Don’t spend forever doing it.” Those three statements are at the core of why we designed goMobi to work the way we did.)
- Build local. Your mobile site should have local in mind since one-third of mobile searches have “local intent.”
- Make it personal. Harness the personal aspects of mobile.
- Track independently. Make sure that you track activity on the mobile site separately from your desktop website.
- Iterate. Keep tweaking the site as you learn how people use it.
goMobi follows these same steps in helping small businesses create dynamic, valuable mobile websites. goMobi is a total solution, delivering a complete mobile website in mere minutes using existing Web content while delivering the best user experience possible, just as Google outlined it in their webinar. goMobi lets you:
- Build a mobile-specific site with information for on-the-go users and mobile-friendly features to help book more business.
- Build local with maps, business hours, coupons and reservations to encourage in-person visits.
- Make it personal by maintaining consistent branding for your business as well as stimulating word-of-mouth with links to social media.
- Track activity on the mobile site separately from your desktop website using Google Analytics.
- Iterate — and reiterate — your site content as often as you like while you test what will best drive additional business for you.
At GeekStuff Ltd we specialise in goMobi and Mobile Web solutions. Give us a call to find out what goMobi can do for your business.