The Black Friday 2018 has once again proved that mobile commerce, or mCommerce, is on the rise. According to Adobe analysts, more than a third of online BF sales occurred on smartphones that year, as compared to 29.1% in 2017. Moreover, Statista expects mCommerce sales to take up a 44.7% share in the total US digital sales in 2019.
In 2017, Dynamic Yield published a survey report that clearly shows retailers’ inability to meet the expectations of mobile shoppers. You might think two years must have been enough for most merchants to close these gaps. Yet, the latest Omni-2000 Global Research report shows that 75.9% of global omnichannel retailers have responsive sites, while only 11.4% of them have mobile apps or sites optimized for mobile commerce. The overall progress looks hardly impressive.
Reasons? This could be the numerous brick-and-mortars undergoing digital transformation lately. Businesses with history tend to be conservative and stick to the old ways, which often makes new technology too much of a struggle for them. As a result, there are more online stores than ever but most of them fail to meet contemporary consumers’ expectations, including of mobile experience.
However, this post is not an inquiry into the prerequisites of the current state of things. Instead, we want to present you with valuable tips to help you hit consumer expectations and secure lucrative conversion rates.
Ensure mobile-friendly design
According to the 2017 survey mentioned above, users often complained about pages and links being too small to tap on. No matter how odd it may seem in 2019, some retailers still ignore the mobile-first concept.
Here are the core design principles to keep in mind when developing an app or optimizing your website for mobile commerce:
- Keep it simple
- Make it compatible across a wide range of devices
- Reduce loading time
Put users in control of their data
Security concerns are another problem in mobile commerce that needs your attention. Typically, mobile apps collect a lot of data to provide users with a personalized experience, such as location, purchase history, payment and contact details, and more. When violated, it can do harm in many ways. Users are well aware of it and can even have a tad exaggerated image of potential threats.
The key tactic here is about putting mobile app users in control of their data. There are three simple ways to do that:
- Give new users a privacy notice right away and make it accessible at any point
- Allow users to manage data sharing preferences and opt-out of particular data uses
- Allow users to download a copy of the data they shared with the app so far, so they can make sure there is nothing compromising
Get around interruptions
A smartphone is a great device in its ability to function as a modern control center of our life. At the same time, when installed, your app will be competing with dozens of others for the user’s attention. Consumers claim to prefer desktop shopping over mobile because their smartphone sessions are constantly interrupted by messages, calls, and all sorts of notifications.
At this point, your goal is to maintain users’ attention and keep them coming back to complete their purchase. The latter is easy to accomplish: just set push notifications that will remind a distracted user of the products they recently viewed, similar products, and items on their wishlist or in their cart.
Optimize product discoverability
The same 2017 survey found out that 76% of consumers mobile-shop to “save time.” They add that retailers fail to provide swift product discoverability on mobile, which is yet another reason to turn to good old desktop.
There are three solutions to that:
- Personalization. When you collect enough of user data and touchpoints, you can unify it and automatically segment consumer profiles by behavior, device type, element clicks, geo-location, local weather forecast, past purchases, etc. This can be further used to set an adaptive homepage where relevant product offers are assembled dynamically and to display hot recommendations on other pages. According to a recent report by Accenture, 91% of consumers are more likely to buy from companies who remember them and provide relevant offers. Moreover, 83% of them don’t mind sharing their data if this helps provide them with a personalized experience.
- Customization. Give your app users the power over their search. Enable a plethora of search filters that will help consumers find exactly what they are looking for, and do it fast.
- Mixed reality. Mobility and multi-functionality are inarguable advantages of smartphones over desktops, and you can benefit from these features. By introducing augmented reality, you will allow users to take a picture of the products they like whenever they notice them and search for similar items by image. A more profound level is computer vision (see example below). And don’t forget about the barcode scanner! If your consumers will not be able to find a dress of their size at your offline store, you want to enable them to search for it with the app.
Amazon accustomed online shoppers to the extraordinarily simple checkout. Participants of the aforementioned 2017 survey expressed hope that retailers will make the mobile purchasing journey easier. In other words, the requirement to re-enter their details over again looks rather intimidating to consumers.
The route to conversion starts with a sign-in. By enabling registrations via popular social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google, you will save your consumers the effort of creating a password and verifying the account by email. Moreover, you can automatically pull their name from the platform to use it at the checkout. Remember: they want it to be fast!
To make things even easier, you can enable checking out so that users do not need to sign in at all. See how USA Online Shopping does exactly that:
You can leverage user location not only to display relevant offers. This data can also be used to automatically fill the shipping address and calculate delivery costs. Even if the customer is not shopping from home, they will be able to edit the relevant address field.
Finally, don’t forget to integrate your app with Apple Pay and Google Pay. Your consumers will love the opportunity to make a purchase in a single tap.
Learn from Amazon
Amazon is a proven forerunner in digital retail. Their service level has long become a gold standard for online shoppers and shaped their expectations. As the giant “seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company,” their development is supported by thorough marketing studies and analysis that only a company of their scale can afford.
You might not have the resources required to build the next Amazon right now, but it makes sense to keep up with the logic behind particular features of their platform. For example, you can create a focus group of frequent Amazon buyers to test the user experience with your app to see where you can improve it to meet their expectations.
Over to you
Each of these six tips can help you increase conversions. Nevertheless, you don’t need to put them all into action neither at once nor in this order. Your job now is to decide what comes first based on the specifics of your business, financial situation, products, and target audience. Our job is to give you a leg up by implementing the technical part, so just let us know when you are ready.