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Meeting the challenges of a multi-platform, multi-device environment

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We live in a multi-screen world. How many of us start a task on one device, only to pick it up later on another? With the lines between computers, tablets and phones more blurred than ever before, on-the-go consumers are perfectly entitled to expect the brands they interact with to keep up with these emerging habits. In the UK, more than 60% of online adults use at least two devices every day and nearly 25% use three devices. So how are brands to meet the challenges of this multi-platform, multi-device experience expected by customers? Here are four things to remember:

1. Be customer-centric, not platform-centric

Remember, you’re out to engage and influence consumers, so the behaviour of the consumer needs to be the driver behind your strategy — don’t go in platform-first. Tracking and insight can prove challenging when consumers are switching between platforms and devices when browsing, using services and making purchases online (and your choice of system will either make this a straightforward or a trying task) — but some time spent digging through the available data is well worth it to find out:

• How consumers are moving from screen to screen

• What content they are consuming

• When they are accessing the content

Once you have an accurate view of your customer, you can begin to understand and anticipate their needs and look at adapting your approach to the different channels.

2. Build seamless experiences across channels

The experiences you create for your customers should be consistent, integrated and platform-agnostic, and your comms should work uninterrupted across devices.

A whopping 80% of people delete an email if it doesn’t look good on their mobile device —and with mobile overtaking desktop traffic to retail websites, your web content, emails and other properties need to look great and function perfectly on screens of all sizes. From responsive design to Facebook apps that work on mobile, you need to make sure you have all channels and devices covered.

3. Understand user needs on each platform or device

However, a seamless experience doesn’t mean the same tactics employed across each channel. Building a mobile user experience requires a lot more than scaling content to fit a smaller screen — it needs to facilitate mobile interaction, allowing consumers to pick up their journey where they left off, wherever they are, straight from their pocket. By understanding what the consumer wants from this touch-point, you are able to deliver it to them in a way that works.

4. Support your strategy with the right technology

To provide a clear customer journey across platforms and devices, you need a joined-up user-focused strategy supported by the right technology and tactics — ideally a system that’s able to create and track communications and interactions across all customer touch-points, including e-commerce and till systems. A multifaceted platform such as CE’s own Cerium will enable you to produce responsive cross-channel comms that can be integrated with customer data, point-of-sale and CRM systems.

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