The one “wow” factor that will set the most successful online businesses apart going forward is a seamless cross channel strategy. But while mobile commerce stats have been rising for quite some time, many CMOs have yet to nail the optimal mobile experience. The quick fix of mirroring an online site for mobile applications won’t cut it anymore.
The trick is figuring out what your customers want to achieve with your brand via mobile. If you’re in an industry where it’s unlikely that people will perform the same tasks across multiple devices, then you have to ask yourself what do they want to do on their mobile devices with your brand. For example, in the financial services industry, is there a high likelihood that your target customers will not want to use their smartphone to apply for a mortgage loan or sign up for a new IRA account – if so, don’t be featuring that on the home screen of your mobile site.
Figure out what your customers and prospects need most in their busy on-the-go lives—and acknowledge that with your mobile strategy. This being said, don’t wait until the day before you launch to try to understand their needs. There is a lot riding on your decision!
As the frequency of mobile shopping rises, so do customer experience expectations, ranging from a simple and easy-to-use experience and fast load times of pages/images to segmenting audiences with targeted offers/experiences and optimizing navigation layout, product/category pages and shopping carts. Regardless of what actions consumers are taking while visiting mobile-optimized retail sites, failure to meet these consumer expectations can have detrimental effects on how customers feel about a brand, how much money they are willing to spend and their willingness to return, or worse yet, go to a competitor’s mobile site that is easier to use and gives them more personalized, relevant content and offers.
So here are 4 Truths in Mobile Commerce that must always be followed:
1) The customer experience is king on mobile devices. 65% of Americans most value an easy-to-use experience and the fast loading of pages and images when visiting a retailer’s mobile site.
2) Mobile devices complement the offline experience. 58% of Americans use their smartphone or tablet on the way to a retail store or while in-store.
3) Mobile customers are willing to spend on mobile up to a point. 48% of Americans are willing to spend between $50 and $150 on a single retail purchase from their smartphone or tablet. 23% of Americans are willing to spend over $200 on a single retail purchase from their mobile device.
4) A poor customer experience on mobile can be detrimental to the bottom line. 39% of Americans would leave and visit a competitor’s mobile site, and never return, as a result of a poor user experience. 23% would return less often following a poor experience.
Despite the many benefits mobile devices bring to consumers and rapidly increasing usage worldwide, there are still some significant roadblocks standing in the way of mobile commerce. Forrester Research estimates that of the 132 million US mobile Internet users in 2012, only a quarter of those users have ever made purchases via their mobile devices.
For brands’ CMOs, this points to a clear demand and urgency to not only make mobile users’ experience as personal, targeted and relevant as possible, but also to optimize product pages, category pages and the checkout process. By doing so, CMOs will see dramatic lifts in their mobile site traffic, product and landing page views, Average Order Values, conversions and sales across all channels.
Paul Dunay is the Global Vice President of Marketing for Maxymiser.
Follow Paul @pauldunay