In an increasingly mobile world, adapting your digital commerce strategy to cater for the on-the-go consumer is vital. In this article, we explore why developing an mCommerce strategy should be at the top of your business’ list of priorities.
Mobile Commerce is by no means a new phenomenon, but with each passing year, it’s speeding up and becoming ever more important. In February 2015, IMRG reported that visits to online stores from smartphone and tablet devices accounted for 45% of all e-commerce traffic in the UK. That’ll only grow in 2016, with forecasts suggesting that consumers will spend £2.5 billion shopping on their mobiles next year.
Expectations are changing in line with this acceleration. Consumers demand that brands do the hard work now; catering for their busy lifestyles and the fact they can access the internet from anywhere while doing anything. Indeed, statistics show that 51% of consumers expect mobile shopping to be easier than shopping offline, while 50% expect it to be easier than shopping through a desktop.
So what do businesses need to do to keep pace?
Speed is of the essence
Consumers who are shopping on mobile are normally doing so while engaged in some other activity, so they need their mCommerce experience to be as quick and seamless as possible. Research suggests that 57% of mobile consumers will abandon your site if they have to wait 3 seconds for it to load, with 80% never returning. The stakes are high and the margin for error slight. If your mCommerce offering isn’t delivering at the expected speed, you risk missing out on critical transactions.
User Experience is Paramount
Once the consumer is on the site, they have to be carefully guided through your products. A smooth and logical journey from page to page, or even from one piece of information to the next on the same page, is key, as are speed, imagery, and product detail. The faster, the better, the more concise those things respectively are, the better the user experience will be. Such considerations should be made at the start of a site build; considering your user experience solely from a desktop perspective is a risky strategy that will only backfire as mCommerce continues to develop and dominate.
It’s a Multi-Device World
Consumer journeys have become fragmented and complex. Fewer journeys are taking place over one single device: all on desktop or all on mobile. Instead, 40% of customers are now using multiple devices, perhaps beginning the research process on desktop where it’s easier to find information across multiple browser tabs, before opting for the minimal simplicity of mobile to complete their transaction. Simplicity and seamlessness are again important. Make allowances for this ‘baton-passing’ behaviour in your mCommerce strategy to cater for the multitude of touchpoints.
Your Moment of Truth
In 2011, Google introduced a new stage in the consumer purchase journey: the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT). Highlighting the importance of digital research to buying decisions, ZMOT, and what Google has dubbed Micro Moments, shows that the smartphone has empowered the consumer to find what they want to know when they want to know it. An mCommerce strategy should not only consider what the consumer does when they’re on your site, but how you can use Organic Search to drive them there in the first place. It all begins with understanding the consumer; anticipate what they will want to know and you can win your Zero Moment of Truth.
Safe and Sound
The trust barriers that used to hold mCommerce back are gradually eroding. Whereas once, consumers were worried about buying on their mobile, now they’re not only willing to buy on it, they’re happy to buy with it thanks to innovations such as Apple Pay. Trust and ease of use are at the heart of Apple’s payment philosophy, and they’ve struck a happy balance that has helped Apple Pay gain traction in its early days. With 30% of mobile shoppers abandoning a transaction if the shopping cart isn’t optimised well enough, trust and ease of use must be at the heart of your strategy too. Perfecting the other areas is futile if your site falls at the final, and most critical, hurdle.
The rise of mCommerce has created a landscape where a business can reach anyone, anytime, anywhere. Yet, the power still remains with the consumer. Businesses must meet their market halfway with a robust, intuitive mCommerce strategy to take advantage of the limitless opportunities that have developed and will dominate for years to come.