Mobile Optimization: Enhancing Customer Journeys Wherever They May Roam
July 5, 2018
by David Abbou
More than ever, succeeding in eCommerce today requires keeping pace with your customers’ changing behavior, needs, and expectations. Today, building that personal connection increasingly means following the data trail on consumers’ most intimate possession – their mobile device.
Smartphones have become the hub of absolutely everything for consumers, in both their personal and business lives. Recent research shows that 86 percent of U.S. adults admit they’re constantly checking their email, texts, and social media. And as of 2018, the average American adult spends nearly 3.5 hours every day on their mobile device. Quite realistically, your target customers may be devoting more time and attention to their smartphones than their significant others! For online brands, there’s nothing more revealing of consumers’ habits and interests these days than their interaction with their smartphones.
Therefore, the growing mobile market is the most important opportunity staring at eCommerce and online retail businesses now and going forward. But capitalizing on this market before your competitors do is also one of the major challenges of the times and requires a complete mobile marketing strategy.
Mobile Optimization Still Very Much a Work in Progress for Online Retailers
Analyzing over 500 million consumer web sessions every week, our data team’s insights for the last major peak shopping period showed that online brands still have a ways to go when optimizing the mobile customer journey. During this period, 52% of website visits came from mobile devices. However, only 35% percent of total orders were placed using a mobile device, emphasizing that online shoppers still prefer to complete the checkout process on their desktops.
Have online retailers made progress in improving the mobile user experience? No doubt. But the stats above show much work still needs to be done until mobile usability in eCommerce is the seamless and connected experience online businesses envision. As mobile traffic continues to increase year after year and develops into the new normal for consumers, narrowing the gap between traffic and conversions is increasingly critical.
How to Optimize the User Experience for Mobile
Of course, mobile site optimization throughout the funnel doesn’t occur overnight. Mobile form factors require taking many of the optimizations you’re already investing in on your eCommerce site to another level of efficiency and customization.
Here are four key priorities that should be top of mind for eCommerce executives aiming to improve their mobile user experience business KPIs:
Successful companies continuously invest in improving their search because they understand how integral it to engaging users and generate revenue. Ensuring you make your site search easy to find and Improving search speed in this age are minimal requirements given the short attention spans of mobile shoppers. Using a proven cloud-based hosted search service or a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to make sure customers can quickly find any product you have that fits their search criteria will help prevent a common frustration that makes them bounce right out of your site.
You don’t have to look further than Google to know that using autocomplete in your search box is also a must-have for customers. Implementing autocomplete for searches, investing in predictive technologies that improve relevancy, and using images and videos within this function will improve their search experience while allowing you to market your best-fit product for that customer, keeping them focused on your brand.
One of the bigger challenges digital commerce teams face today is ensuring their personalization strategy and the data that drives it remains consistent across channels. Between consumer social media platforms, email engagement, your brand’s presence on Amazon and other major eCommerce marketplaces, and customizing your content on mobile for various device types, personalization all the way throughout these touchpoints is both a strategic and technological puzzle executive teams need to solve.
In his interview in our ebook, TUMI’s chief digital officer Charlie Cole, emphasized why relevant content across channels and devices is especially critical for mobile users:
“Mobile time on sites are shorter, people have less time, they’re not in a confined area and therefore their dwell time is going to be less. Therefore relevancy takes on an increasingly higher role in the entire experience… How do you combine a customer profile that looks on your website on an iMac, then an iPhone, and then an iPad, and combine that info to give them the most relevant experience possible? Because from the customer’s point-of-view, they don’t care what device they’re using. They expect that you’re going to optimize their experience.”
Seek – and you shall find it! Many online retailers are still leaving money on the table because their mobile site visitors still can’t verify if the product they want to buy is available at a location nearby. This is no longer a barrier that should stand in the way of guiding mobile customers who prefer picking up orders in-store to the end of the funnel – and the sale.
Kristen Montella Taganashi, Global Vice President — Ecommerce & Digital Marketing at Claire’s, stressed the importance of enabling customers with the easily find and buy your products on the channel most convenient for them in our ebook:
“This needs to become an enabler for your customers. Expedite their abilities to connect to your brick-and-mortar stores by letting them know where they can find and pick up items they’re searching for in-store. It’s important to send out your push notifications based on geo proximity to your offline stores.”
Getting customers to follow your designed and personalized journey ultimately is all about getting them to the end of your sales funnel, earning that conversion and giving them the experience that will keep them coming back.
Over 75% of the 1,300 online shoppers we surveyed in our recent consumer behavior survey cited an easy checkout when asked what makes for a great online shopping experience. But this was also one the main point of customer friction, and the most frustrating part of checkout for 63% of mobile shoppers was having to fill out the same information twice.
Magento founder Roy Rubin discussed the need to streamline the checkout experience for mobile customers:
“Mobile customers are very mission-focused and their attention span more limited, with other apps pushing notifications and competing for their attention. The entire checkout flow needs to be made faster and more efficient. Nobody that’s decided to make a purchase wants to re-enter the same information more than once. This is true on desktop, but it is certainly amplified on mobile.”
With the right mix of research, testing and innovation, realizing these optimization strategies will help allow your customers to more seamlessly transition from interested mobile browsers to repeat buyers.