How do you prefer to shop? It depends, right? You may well prefer to give your fruit a quick squeeze before adding it to your basket in the supermarket, as opposed to ordering online and trusting someone else not to squeeze it too hard. On the other hand, you might have a go-to brand of trainers that you know will fit perfectly without trying them on, and be happy to have them shipped from near or far away.
Whatever your preferences for various products and services, there’s a good chance that you enjoy a regular spot of shopping on your mobile. And in just a couple of years, it’s estimated that mobile sales, or mCommerce sales, will account for more than half of all forms of eCommerce.
Essentially, we’re heading, smartphone-in-hand, towards a genuinely mobile-centric retail experience – and here are a few key tips for ensuring your own mobile presence is ready to compete.
Mobile is about more than convenience
A couple of weeks back, I wrote about how experience is starting to trump price for consumers when they shop, regardless of whether it’s in-store or online. People want to be wowed, to be rewarded for investing both their money and their time, and to come to trust, rather than simply transact with brands.
And similar can be said for mCommerce. Yes, it’s as convenient as shopping can possibly be; no more than just a few swift swipes of your finger and… done! But what about searching for and discovering products, looking for recommendations and demonstrations, and being reassured about security, privacy and terms and conditions?
These are all key parts of the mobile shopping experience that brands must ensure become part of the consumer journey, from an empty basket right through to the email notification of purchase. Studies have shown that Millennials, in particular, would be willing to pay more for any given product or service if the mobile shopping experience to buy it was better.
But there’s much room for mobile improvement
A key statistic that’s worth remembering, both for eCommerce experts and the owners of eCommerce platforms, is the high volume of people who appear to use mCommerce purely for browsing (or who aren’t convinced enough by their experience to make a purchase). According to one recent Key Performance Indicator (KPI) report, 53% of traffic to online stores comes from mobile devices – but this accounts for just 32% of overall revenue.
Interestingly, the figures are almost completely reversed when you look at desktop, which accounts for 56% of revenue but only 37% of traffic, showing that standard eCommerce platforms are still the big hitter in the industry. And while the report doesn’t identify any specific reasons why people opted not to make purchases, it does conclude that mCommerce could do better.
Key points in making mobile better for customers
If you’ve ever attempted to shop on mobile and found that the website you’re on simply doesn’t do what you expect it to, then you’ve encountered the most common problem in mCommerce. Too often, brands simply duplicate the funnel and design of their desktop for mobile, with the result being an unsatisfactory, but unfortunately memorable experience for customers.
An online store operator’s belief that the convenience of a mobile platform alone will be enough to push through a few extra sales may make for a customer journey from search to purchase that is awkward and unsatisfying. Of course, there are instances where both the desktop and mobile platforms of the same brand are problematic, but if you – excuse the unintended pun – shop around a little, you’ll notice that even some big names pay less attention to their mCommerce presence than they do to desktop eCommerce.
Naturally, people do behave differently on mobile than they do on desktop, which is where a little eCommerce marketing can come in handy. Customers will not want to have to behave any differently on your mobile platform than they would on any other, so it helps to do a little digging into how they prefer to interact with their devices.
Do they need to see products on an endlessly scrolling screen, or divided into simple categories via filters? Do they use other mobile platforms that adopt a landscape format? Do they prefer mCommerce sites that use Live Chat? Perfecting your mobile presence is only worthwhile if it’s perfected for your audience.
Conclusion and contact
House of Fraser and New Look are two notable high-street brands that have already embraced the importance of mobile in eCommerce: “Mobile plays a part in every single customer journey,” confirmed New Look, while HoF has referred to it as “the glue between our digital and physical universe.” With smartphone sales set to reach more than two billion by 2020, it becomes more important every day to develop and sustain a mCommerce presence that works for your customers.
For assistance with cultivating a customer-focused digital presence for your brand, get in touch with the eCommerce experts at Visualsoft or contact me directly for advice. I can help you to choose a platform that will make purchasing simple for your customers, while also showing you how your shoppers’ data can drive the development of your digital presence on mobile and desktop alike.