Time + Speed: The Hard Truth About Mobile Commerce

evolving ecommerce expectations“All retailers want a single view of their customers, regardless of whether they’re online or in the store,” says VP Jeffrey Warren at Oracle Retail in a recent Forbes article.

The paradox is consumers don’t want to spend 5-15 minutes filling out forms in the cart experience online and they most definitely aren’t going to do that on their mobile device. Studies referenced in this BargainFox infographic (a UK retail technology company) show us purchases increased by 45% when forced registration was removed from checkout.

Buying online has been around for almost two decades now, but has never been more difficult. A study from Bigcommerce reported 96% of consumers spend 5 hours per week shopping online. Technology is bringing consumers close to the category your products fit into and the competition is fierce because of one single factor –– the mobile buying customer experience.

This infographic alone demonstrates just how many factors can play a role in a consumer’s decision to purchase in a given moment. However, it all comes down to mobile.

Mobile Is Hard

75% of mobile users abandon websites that aren’t mobile responsive. No one can deny that designing mobile experiences is extremely challenging. What color should the “BUY” button be? How should we present our newest products? How long should the homepage be and what should we display there? Is there too much or too little content?

We know the questions are endless when it comes to building beautiful, seamless mobile buying experiences. Welcome to the new reality.

Flawless Products, Irresistible Offers

The competition has never been more fierce. Startups are designing products with ease and fluidity, while bigger retailers struggle to stay ahead of the curve because they’re bogged down by processes and the “middleman.” For better or worse, technology has made consumers want the best products, at the lower prices, as quickly as possible.

Customer Service Should Not Be Automated

Customer service is arguably the hardest part about mobile commerce, yet the most critical. From website glitches and incorrect product information to coupon codes not working and dreaded error messages in the cart – fast customer service is essential. Automation is wonderful for marketing processes, but not so good for customer service. Let’s put this into perspective.

When a customer is actively searching products on your website, trying to enter an offer code or actually buying your product, they don’t want this process interrupted by website issues. And yes, technology has made us less patient, meaning most customers will leave. But for the ones who stay, they want to talk to someone right away. Sometimes it’s to help them fix the issue and sometimes it’s to just place the order. Why? Time.

It’s the customer’s world and we’re all just living in it. How can we blame them? People want every single second of their day to be on their terms. If they have one bad experience with your brand on mobile, rest assured they’ll probably never come back and even worse, never recommend you to their friends.

The First Experience Matters Most

Focusing on customer retention is the most cost efficient approach to mobile commerce. Build it and they will come, right? In this case, it’s build it and they may come…once. You have to make it worth their while to come back again, not just from a functional standpoint but an aesthetic standpoint. Strive to make a memorable, mobile commerce experience. Customers will only come back if they are dazzled, a.k.a., they are:

  1. Happy with the product or service purchase
  2. Stress-free because the website was easy to navigate
  3. Customer service was effortless

Mobile Commerce Experience Checklist for Marketers

checklist for memorable mobile commerce experiences

One More Thing

We shouldn’t deny the fact mobile can play many roles in the purchase decision journey. User behavior varies from using mobile for discovery, content, product research and reviews to only buying products via their mobile device. As marketers, we need to focus on being well-rounded in our customer expectations and give consumers an amazing experience, regardless of the where they are in the decision journey.

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