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Mobile Optimized vs Traditional Websites

This year, the USPS ispositioning their mobile barcode promotion to help catalogers save on postage fees. The promotion runs from July 1, 2012 through August 31, 2012. The purpose of the promotion is to help showcase how technology and mail can work together. The post office is hoping to encourage mailers to send more mail and counting on consumer interest in technology to drive revenue for mailers such as catalogers. It’s a win, win, win … the post office increases mail volume, the cataloger increases exposure through another buying channel, and the “on-the-go” consumer gets a user-friendly experience on their mobile device to learn about products and promotions.

In order to qualify for this years USPS mobile barcode promotion there must be a mobile barcode (QR code, Microsoft Tag, etc. ) in the catalog. It doesn’t matter if it’s on the front cover or any other page. What is important is that the QR code resolves to a webpage that is user-friendly and provides a complete mobile experience. When I discuss the promotion with catalogers, I see that there’s some confusion on what a mobile optimized website actually means. Just because a webpage can be viewed on a mobile device doesn’t mean it is mobile optimized. Below is a good example of a mobile optimized website vs. a traditional desktop website. Note that each is displayed differently. The traditional website is challenging to view and navigate where the mobile optimized website is easy. Traditional websites viewed on a mobile device require zooming in and out of the page which can be frustrating for the end-user. Midwest Supplies mobile did a great job creating a mobiled optimized website to make searching, researching, and purchasing easy for their customers.

Mobile optimized versus traditional websites

As you can see, a mobile optimized site is a website which is specifically designed for optimum performance when viewed on a mobile device such as a smartphone (or tablet device). There are several commonly used techniques for developing mobile websites that bridge the differences between a full sized desktop monitor and a mobile display. Below are some techniques that are common to mobile optimized sites:

  • Device detection directs mobile users to appropriately formatted content
  • Use menu options as opposed to free-text entry whenever possible
  • Screen Size and Resolution is adjusted so that users do not have to scroll horizontally
  • Page sizes and images are compressed to enable faster downloading
  • Contrast and color scheme is adjusted for viewing on smaller screens and outdoor viewing.

It’s not too late to take advantage of the USPS mobile barcode promotion, but time is running out quickly. If you’re printing your catalog soon, the first step is to make sure you have a QR code and directional copy in the catalog layout (i.e. – directional copy is the text around the QR code that describes how to scan the code and why consumers should scan it … see below).

text surrounding qr code sample

Dingley can help you to start engaging mobile consumers and qualify for this year’s postage discount by building a simple, user-friendly, custom branded mobile optimized site for you. We can also help with registration for the promotion and get you going creating QR codes. The best part is that it’s not too late – it only takes 2 or 3 days to complete your mobile optimized site, so we can get started today!

Please contact your Dingley sales representative or Rob Nowak for additional information.