Digital sales over mobile platforms accounted for a greater share of business during the kickoff of the 2016 holiday season. Mobile shoppers contributed to Cyber Monday sales with a 34 percent year-over-year increase. Black Friday posted more than $1 billion in mobile revenue.
This is positive and exciting news for eCommerce professionals. However, for many consumers, the mobile experience is not yet as good as they want it to be – and the data on conversions is quite revealing.
The numbers are getting better, with smartphone conversions reaching 2.4 percent against a holiday average of 1.3 percent. But when compared with the desktop conversions at 5.5 percent, there is still a lot of room for growth in mobile share when the right steps are followed.
1. Implement Bulletproof Security and Privacy Measures
Everyone wants speed, speed, and more speed, but that acknowledges only a part of the problem. Before addressing speed – retailers need to put consumer confidence first. For all the investment in customer experience that the mobile revolution is driving, consumers want to feel secure when shopping on the mobile platform.
Security and privacy are the greatest barriers to mobile shopping according to an IAB report released in September 2016. Consumers still have reservations about entering their credit card information on mobile sites in ways that do not give them pause when they are on a desktop at their home or workplace.
What is new here is that there is nothing new here.
Consumers said much the same thing in 2014 and 2015, so it might be better to look at the customer journey in reverse. Start with the shopping cart and win the security game first because it costs money, and lots of it, to lose buyers who are not comfortable using mobile.
2. Enhance Search, Checkout, and Personalization Features
Another reason why mobile conversions may appear lower is that shoppers are using their devices as in-store search tools. They are not always abandoning their carts entirely – in fact, some of them are actually standing in line with physical carts after using mobile tools to inform and direct their shopping trip.
For retailers who are not streamlining that experience with smart omnichannel strategies, this is another tragic missed opportunity.
Another factor is the checkout experience itself, which at first does not seem all that different on mobile than it does for other online scenarios. The same shoppers who abandon the sale if they are not happy with shipping times, prices, or pickup options, do not change their sentiments when they are shopping on mobile. This is not just about free shipping, although that can be a real deal-breaker. Consumer expectations for shipping times have compressed downward 20 percent over four years, according to UPS.
Retailers should certainly not forget personalization because leveraging data to tailor discounts or upselling offers is not the only mobile-first application. This technology can also be used to send invitations or reminder emails to customers who start but do not finish an online transaction.
3. Deliver the Highest Possible Speed and Performance
Lack of speed is the first thing that mobile customers find frustrating when pages are not loading fast enough, or the elements they need are exasperating to access or resize. This is complicated by the fact that mobile users want to get the same content and functionality as is found on the corresponding desktop site. As a result, the tactic of creating a separate, slimmer site for mobile is obsolete and yields fewer conversions. An end-to-end overhaul with mobile in mind aimed at requiring fewer clicks and page loads is a smart investment in what is driving revenue today.
While most retailers understand the critical nature of landing page load times, it is not only page content that delivers the optimal experience – the newest approach begins with responsive web design (RWD). This allows a desktop site to be reformulated for mobile and enables content orchestration tactics that prioritize mobile elements and deliver better speed to mobile users.
Digital marketers should take the time to implement systems that reveal exactly where and how customers are being lost and revenue is leaking. Then, choose available solutions that maximize the value of every site without weighing them down.