Mobile shopping is growing at a huge rate, with most retailers running hard to catch up, and many falling way behind. It’s not enough to simply ‘be online’. Mobile shopping is about to take over.
According to the IMRG/Capgemini Retail Sales Index ‘sales via mobile devices have seen a year on year growth of 254%, averaging 300% year on year growth for Q1 2012. And according to ABI research ‘Worldwide mobile sales will grow to 163 billion dollars by 2015’.
Right now the conversion rates for purchasing by mobile remain very low – below 1% as compared with just over 4% for traditional website visitor conversions, indicating that shoppers browse for goods on the move with their mobile devices rather than actually buying.
If ecommerce providers get the mobile shopping experience right then this will change, as soon as later in 2012, but there are problems with customer engagement which need to be fixed as soon as possible, particularly as low ratings for mobile shopping quoted in the social stream can damage a retailer’s brand image everywhere, from bricks and mortar store to traditional website.
Five things to consider with mobile shopping:
It’s really no different from your website experience, although harder to get right on mobile. The experience has to be as clear and simple as possible, driving customers to what they are searching for without confounding them with unnecessary content. It is much easier to clutter up a mobile stream, as the screen is so much smaller. Design your website around clarity for the consumer and you will be much likely to get a sale, rather than just a browse, or worse, a bounce.
This applies whether you’re looking at your website for any application, from desktop through laptop and tablet to mobile phone. We know for a fact that browsers are looking for the same overall experience from an online retailer as they find on their desktop or laptop, and that they prefer store websites to apps which is an advantage as apps can be expensive and only work on a limited number of devices.
Reduce the number of clicks to product
On many mobiles the constant re-launching and re-directing to a page is time consuming, and you have just a very few seconds to get and retain the attention of a would-be purchaser, just as you have on any other application. Make getting to the product as fast as possible and remove any unnecessary pages on the way.
Make Searching Simple
On the best mobile optimised websites the search box is clearly visible at the top of the page, just as it should be on your website. Search should be the fastest way of reaching a desired product, so make sure that it is.
This involves not just making sure that your search box is in the right place, but that your products are set up to be search friendly, and your internal search engine is as fast as possible.
Be aware of the power of sharing
You can do a damage to your brand by not offering a clearly thought-out, fast and easy to use mobile experience. With social sharing nothing is secret, make sure that your reviews, whether by Twitter, Facebook or any other social media avenue are likely to be favourable and you’re likely to gain everywhere, from bricks and mortar store to your main website. The reverse is also all too true.
Make payments quick and easy.
Right now this is easier said than done, but more transactional gateways will be opening up in 2012 to create easy payment possibilities. The quicker and simpler, the more likely visitors will go down the buying funnel to order.
If transactional mobile shopping is on the rise, and if it’s true that more will be browsing and buying via their mobile phones in 2014 than by traditional desktop or laptop, there has never been more urgency and incentive to get on the mobile shopping bandwagon. Just make sure you get it right from the start.
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