An alarm sounds. My phone is telling me to get up. I move through my morning routine; I check my email app, then my weather app. Finally, I get out of bed. As I walk to work, I browse the mobile Web for nearby bakeries. I need to order some cupcakes for my friend’s birthday party . . . tonight. I get side-tracked when I find a bakery that offers maple donuts – I love maple donuts. I suddenly remember that I’m tasked with bringing breakfast for our family Thanksgiving this year. I put a reminder on my calendar app.

Each time I pick up or look at my mobile phone to find an answer to a question, I have a mobile moment. This month, the 30 different apps and 100 mobile websitesI visit will amount to hundreds of mobile moments. How do I navigate from one mobile moment to the next? How do smartphone owners transition between communicating, consuming media, shopping, paying bills, and posting memories? Charting consumers’ behaviors across mobile sites and apps is what Forrester calls mobile pathway analysis. Using our behavioral tracking data collected from consumers’ smartphones, Forrester is introducing this new analysis to help brands understand their customers’ context when navigating to and from their brand’s apps and mobile websites. Context is key, as reported by my colleague Julie Ask in her recent speech at Forrester's Digital Business Forum last week.

In this analysis, we help you answer five mobile pathway questions:

1.How popular is your mobile app vs. your mobile site?

2.How strong is your direct engagement?

3.What do customers visit before navigating to your mobile app or site?

4.Where do they go next?

5.Do mobile pathways change for different customer segments?

We found that, in general, apps enjoy high direct engagement rates; customers frequently start a mobile session and navigate to an app directly. In contrast, mobile websites have much lower direct engagement rates; customers often visit another destination before routing to a mobile website.

Insight into your customers’ mobile journeys is fundamental to understanding where to invest (app or site), the context of your customers’ mobile moment, and where to place your awareness and discovery bets. Read my recent report co-authored with Ted Schadler and Jennifer Wise, Master Your Customers’ Mobile Pathways.

Nicole Dvorakis a data scientist serving all roles. Follow her on Twitter at@NicoleLDvorak.


About Forrester’s mobile pathway analysis:Using Forrester’s mobile audience data, our ongoing behavioral tracking panels in the US and the UK, we can conduct a mobile pathways analysis on smartphones for apps and mobile websites with at least 3 million active smartphone users. This includes social networking, retail, business/productivity, gaming, finance, music, travel, and news/media brands.Please contact data@forrester.comto learn more.