For the average person walking down any busy street, the sight of someone with their nose pressed against their touchscreen phone is more than a little annoying. Especially if you have to slalom around them like a clumsy skier. For an eCommerce retailer, however, society’s addiction to mobiles will be sweeter than a sugar cube in honey, because 2015 is going to be the year of m-Commerce.
In 2014, for the first time retail website traffic from a mobile device overtook the desktop. According to a report by Capgemini and IMRG, online spending on retail websites via a mobile device increased to 43% in 2014.
Why is m-commerce growing?
There are a lot of factors influencing the growth of mobile sales. Primarily, a mobile device is relatively cheap to obtain in today’s economy making them more widely available. It is also a lot more convenient for shoppers to make a transaction on their phone, particularly when they are out and about without their desktop nearby.
Can you meet the demand?
M-Commerce has been slowly paving its way for the past couple of years but it is finally more than a dot on the horizon. More than 36% of online sales in the UK are now made through a mobile device. The figure for online clothing sales is even higher at more than 40%. While it’s not likely to hit e-tailers as hard and as sudden as Black Friday and Cyber Monday did in 2014, it would be foolish not to prepare for the arrival of m-Commerce so that you can capitalise on it early.
Here are 6 tips for getting ahead of the game.
1. Web design
It may well be that you have the best website ever used by a customer but if it doesn't translate well on to a mobile screen you’ll lose a sale. No customer wants to navigate an awkwardly sized, poorly designed website and no customer will. They’ll look for the competition who are doing it better. See Feather and Black’s web and mobile sites below.
2. Product information
The best thing about m-Commerce is the convenience; the ability to buy a signed replica of Darth Vader’s mask while eating out with the in-laws. But if everything a customer needs to know in order to make a transaction doesn't migrate well from the desktop site onto the mobile version, they won’t commit and that’s another sale lost. Fashion retailer Barbour do their product pages well, so take heed.
3. Customer reviews
The best way to encourage a customer to buy is to show them reviews from others that have made hassle-free purchases. In turn, the best way to encourage customer reviews is to provide excellent order fulfilment. This can be achieved by having flawless behind-the-scenes processes, particularly regarding your warehouse management. Despatch on time, first time, every time, and keep your customers happy and loyal. Check out our Client Surfdome's reviews on Trustpilot.
4. Unique experiences
Your customers are individuals so why not treat them as such? With the m-commerce train fast approaching, your customer base should increase exponentially. Instead of spamming every visitor to your website with the same call-to-action, tailor them to suit their needs, dependent on where they are in the customer journey. A new visitor might like 20% off their first order, whereas a regular customer could appreciate free next day delivery. Linking back to the design, these CTAs need to look as good on a mobile as they do on the desktop site. See how Ann Summers does this with pop-ups below.
5. Simple payments
We've said it before but it can’t be said enough: customers want it easy. Filling out card details, contact information, and addresses for every transaction can be tiresome. With applications like ApplePay and Google Wallet teetering on the European border, paying for those adorable penguin slippers you’ve been eyeing up online will soon be as easy as swiping your Oyster Card for the tube. Take a look at Sports Direct's checkout for some pointers.
For those that don’t live on the wild side, putting your card details into a website is always going to be a little worrying. Without the security software that can be easily added to any desktop PC, mobile devices may carry a little more risk when making payments. Ease your customers’ minds by making them aware of how secure the transaction will be. Nurture trust and gain loyalty. See how Evans Cycles is doing it right.
There's plenty to get working on, but mobile commerce isn't the only new development growing this year. Read here to find out whether you should be bracing for 5G.