Since Apple launched the first iPhone in the summer of 2007, and the subsequent boom in consumer adoption of smartphones, the range of tasks that people have been able to complete on mobile devices has continued to grow. From general online browsing and mobile banking to messaging applications and video streaming 60% of all online traffic now comes from mobile devices.
However, more than a decade on from the launch of the iPhone, the retail sector still struggles to capitalise on the opportunity that mCommerce presents. While 45% of all online visits to retailers’ stores come from smartphones and tablets, the average retailer has a 97% abandonment rate on their mobile shopping basket. So, having worked hard to attract visitors to their mobile site, getting them to browse and place items in the cart they are ultimately losing sales due to the poor experience they receive on mobile sites.
The topic of mCommerce was discussed by leading consultant Amy Africa at the DCA Annual Summit, where she provided an array of tips to improve mobile commerce offerings without breaking the bank. In the presentation Amy provided an overview of her 38 top tips for making mCommerce a success. She argued that Mobile has the potential to level the playing field, as no single retailer is currently doing it brilliantly. Amy argued it is not hard to get it ‘right’, thereby creating a competitive advantage.
Here are some of her key tips for improving sales with mCommerce:
Ease of navigation and speed are essential for success.
To improve navigation speeds, create mini-sites within your mobile offering, that strip the pages back to just what is relevant to a particular interaction.
Create a mobile page dedicated to bestselling items.
Remove pages with a bad mobile experience from the mobile site.
Develop mobile-specific discount codes that are readily available on the site. This could include a page with voucher code offers to keep the customer there.
Customers experience a mobile site screen view by screen view. So each page view should be cohesive; the ‘check-out’ icon should be in every screen view on the product page; and forms should be in a ‘one view at a time’ format.
Focus testing and conversion rate optimisation on the most visited mobile pages.
Clearly display stock availability.
When you identify customers that are struggling with a specific page or stage of the customer journey, do something to help them. Trigger live chat, or implement a pop-up telling them to call your team who will be able to find their basket and check them out over the phone.
Test your mobile site vigorously and benchmark against click-throughs to the site from emails that you send to customers.
Benchmark mobile performance separately from your desktop stats and specifically look at how users came to your mobile site. Was it after you directed them to it in an email or did they find you organically from a web search? Use this information to increase adoption of mobile within the customer base.
With 76% of adults in the UK now owning a smartphone it is clear that mobile presents a huge opportunity for retailers, if they deliver the right offering – and those that do will have a significant competitive advantage.
Equally mCommerce could also offer businesses in the retail supply chain, including wholesalers, an opportunity to gain an advantage and increase sales by engaging with customers on a channel that they are familiar with and use regularly. With traditionally consumer-facing businesses now looking at the B2B sector as an area of potential growth, including Amazon and Alibaba, connecting with customers via mobile could be a way for wholesalers to ensure that they remain competitive. With new, established businesses expected to enter the B2B retail market, innovation will be key for wholesalers to ensure they are delivering a competitive offering to customers and mCommerce is certainly worth considering.
If you would like help either in taking your business online or in further developing your existing eCommerce offering please get in touch.