Technology is a cruel thing. It doesn’t really wait for the people to catch up before taking the next big leap.
At a time when businesses are finding it hard to catch up with the latest in ecommerce, mobile commerce has already displaced ecommerce to be the “next big thing”.
In fact, the lines between ecommerce, mobile commerce, online sales, or offline sales are starting to blur. Come 2018 and the mobile commerce market will reach $700 billion, which will be account for more than 30% of all online sales.
To avoid falling behind, its the perfect time to embrace mobile and take all necessary steps to accommodate mobile shoppers.
Create a mobile-optimized or responsive store
Screen size is not the only difference between shopping using a desktop and a mobile phone. You are actually dealing with a 180 degree shift in the behavior, preferences, and the choices of your customers. So you need to come up with a different layout, navigation, checkout process, and everything else that’s part of an online store.
You will have to choose between a fully responsive design, a separate mobile-friendly website, or an app, and choosing between these three options is easier said than done.
- A big percentage of smartphone users prefer apps over internet browsers.
- Mobile responsive designs are easier to manage,
- but a separate mobile version can load much faster.
When choosing between a responsive web design, mobile friendly website, or an app, you must go through the pros and cons, and then narrow down to one, while keeping your target audience in mind.
Provide all information at their fingertips
When it comes to mobile shopping, all the information should literally be at their fingertips. They should be able to find, learn, and compare different options in a jiffy.
As earlier mentioned, smartphones play an important role in more than half of all purchase decisions, and your goal is to take them from “research mode” to “buying mode”.
In addition to the availability, you’ll also need to work on summarizing the content, and presenting only relevant information. Also make sure that you have got big prominent buttons for important functions like “contact us” or “buy now” (consider making them sticky).
Mobile users have an even shorter attention span than desktop users, and a little bit of nuisance is enough to turn them off.
Unless they are using a mobile phone with abnormally large screens, it’ll be difficult to browse through various categories, or use in-store search features to find the right product. If you can find a quicker, more convenient way to guide them towards the right products, it will be a big relief.
For example, when the customers land on your store, instead of presenting them with an array of product categories, or a simple search bar, use a product advisor to know what they are looking for, and present the most suitable products.
See the following screenshot for example …
It is much easier for the customer to answer these questions and be presented with best possible matches.
Integrate mobile payment & easy checkout process
If you are making your customers fill out forms, or go through some lengthy checkout process, you may very well kiss your conversion chances goodbye.
Mobile shoppers will absolutely despise if they are forced to go through unnecessary steps while completing the order.
Use quick and trustworthy payment processors like PayPal or Google Wallet. The checkout process should be smooth, and simple, with some kind of visual indication of the progress and remaining steps. You must allow guest checkouts, unless it is an absolute necessity to have them register.
Add “Mobile” into your marketing mix
Once your store is ready to welcome mobile shoppers, it’s time to add mobile into your marketing mix, and reap the benefits.
Experts, for years, have been advocating for “Mobile First” marketing. While targeting mobile users, you need to create interactive ads, meaning that the ads must push for in-ad signups. Geo-targeting can be a very powerful tool when used properly.
You need to keep the screen limitation in mind while coming up with the message and call to action in your ad copy.
Technology is a cruel thing, but it can also be an enabler, and something that levels the playing field for all and sundry. Just don’t be overwhelmed, think of mobile commerce as an opportunity, and try to make the most of changing trends.