35% of consumer purchasing decisions are made from the third screen: mobile devices.

By Ayesha Mathews-Wadhwa (Founder & Creative Director, PixInk)

You don’t have to be a designer to understand that consumers are drawn to packaging; however, there’s much more to design than colors, fonts, and photos. Design has as much to do with utility and user experience as it does with bling.

Statistically, consumers are moving towards the third screen (the first screen: television, the second screen: computers/laptops, the third screen: mobile devices) in droves and making 35% of purchasing decisions right from their mobile phones.

Brands should take the time and care to get their mobile personalities in check. Most brands know the benefits of having a separate website for mobile. However, they don’t always consider women in the design strategy.

Since women dominate consumer spending — boasting 83% of global purse power — designing for women on the third screen should be a goal for every brand. Brands should make navigation easy, solve a problem, and save women time.

Here are the main areas that mobile design can score big with women.

Skip the maze and keep it simple

Women use mobile to field family, personal, and business issues. When brands place these facts at the forefront, they’ll be more effective at reaching women consumers. Panera Bread’s mobile website is an example of a mobile website that appeals to women because it is functionally designed. With links to store locators, menus, and social media, women don’t have to guess how to accomplish simple tasks.

Know women’s motivations and meet them

Why do consumers use mobile websites in the first place? The majority of women consumers use mobile websites to compare pricing and research products so brands should give them the ability to do these things quickly.

With 42% of women and 34% of men saying that online coupons are among the top three cost savings activities important to them, brands should ensure that coupons and flash deals are accessible to mobile users. In this way, Target.com uses ideal mechanisms for users to access coupons and coupon alerts via its mobile website.

Use time-saving techniques

Women mobile users, like their male counterparts, are generally looking to save time, so content should be streamlined and highly targeted. This is where mobile devices can solve key marketing barriers. Since mobile users are highly motivated with 76% already primed to buy when using smartphones in stores, brands can readily use mobile campaigns to:

  • Close Sales
  • Drive Loyalty
  • Cross-Sell
  • Meet immediate needs

When users have to endure slow loading mobile websites, their goals for visiting are delayed and brands run the risk of losing them to competing brands. In fact, United Airlines was recently called out for its mobile website download time of 18.284 seconds, which is over five times the average time consumers say they expect a mobile website to load.

A recent study reports that almost half of consumers would likely not return to a slow-loading mobile website and 57% wouldn’t recommend it to others. This is key advice to brands.

When mobile technology is designed with women’s preferences at the forefront, consumers in general will be more apt to consider the message.

What are some mobile websites that are designed with women consumers in mind?

Editor’s note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below.

About the guest blogger: Ayesha Mathews-Wadhwa is Founder and Creative Director of PixInk, a San Francisco-based digital design microagency serving a macro niche: businesses marketing to women, who drive over 80% of purchase decisions. She nurtures emerging brands and strengthens iconic ones through powerful design, insight and a deep understanding of the female consumer. PixInk’s microagency structure works extremely well for Apple and Facebook, among others. Follow her on Twitter at @ayeshamathews.