3 ways to boost the mobile e-commerce experience

| by Scott Voigt
3 ways to boost the mobile e-commerce experience

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We know 84 percent of smartphone users in the U.S. browse, research and compare products via web browser or mobile app — but are they buying? Traditionally, most mobile shoppers would begin researching products on their phones before moving to their desktop or going into a store to complete their purchase.

While this is still a common path to purchase, trends show more and more customers come to mobile sites ready to buy. Nearly 36 percent of online sales in Q4 2017 were made on mobile, an increase of 20 percent from two years prior. So while desktop may still be the dominant channel, mobile is shifting from a research device to a purchasing tool.

So how can you exceed customer expectations and provide a seamless and intuitive mobile shopping experience?

1. Make it speedy
When you're optimizing to support mobile shoppers, you need to make sure your site is fast, because 53 percent will leave a mobile website if it takes more than three seconds to load.

So how fast is fast enough? E-commerce shops should aim to load in at least three seconds. And don't stop there: Aim to load faster than your biggest competitors. Shoppers who visit fast websites are not only more likely to convert, but also more likely to add additional products to their carts.

While some causes of slowness — like the shopper's network — are out of your control, many aren't. You can't do much about a shopper who is connected to a weak Wi-Fi network or is stuck using 3G. But it's best to optimize your website to load quickly even on slow networks. A few things that you can do to bump your speed are to ensure that your product images are optimized, and check the processes of your third-party scripts to make sure none are slowing down your page rendering.

2. Eliminate friction
Any friction in your mobile experience increases the likelihood that shoppers will bounce or abandon their carts. Common causes of friction include too many steps, and too many form fields. In fact, two-thirds will switch to another site if it takes too many steps to get to purchase or to find the desired information.

For example, to reduce steps for shoppers who are seeking product details, make the details clearly visible next to the product images rather than buried under a hover event or a "click to learn more" button.

To reduce steps in the checkout process, consider using a digital wallet or one-click payment option, like PayPal One Touch or Apple Pay, so customers can quickly apply saved payment and shipping options.

Beware of sign-in forms that can interrupt conversions. Are you testing and monitoring how many people get derailed on your checkout because they forget their username or password? Or how many shoppers have accounts, but instead use the guest checkout option to avoid the hassle of logging in? Bookmark these seven causes of bad user experiences to make sure you're not inadvertently frustrating your users with additional sources of friction.

3. Know your cross-channel experience
If you're emailing promotions to customers, there's a 66 percent chance that they'll open the email on their phone. This means that their email click-throughs are likely to happen on mobile, so you'll want to make sure that you aren't driving them to a subpar mobile experience.

Retailers with low mobile sales tend to have higher cross-device conversions on desktop. This could indicate that customers intend to purchase on mobile, but move to desktop to complete their purchase because the retailer's mobile experience is too frustrating.

Are you using the tools available to you to monitor and measure this cross-device user behavior? Don't rely on guesswork to determine your customers' behaviors; implement processes to understand how your customers move across channels and devices.
Understand, then optimize.

The key to optimizing your mobile customer experience for your e-commerce business is being able to understand it from the perspective of individual customers. A session replay tool can help you get a complete picture of how individuals interact with your site, no matter the device, so you can stop wondering what your mobile user experience is really like.

The shift in mobile shopping habits has forced both brick-and-mortar retailers and online-only shops to tailor their strategies to accommodate increasingly mobile customers. Whether you're online-only or taking an omnichannel approach, a focus on a mobile commerce strategy will help you achieve your overall goals.

Topics: Customer Experience, Mobile Retail, Omnichannel / Multichannel

Scott Voigt

Scott​ ​thinks​ ​that​ ​it​ ​is​ ​too​ ​hard​ ​for​ ​product,​ ​support​ ​and​ ​marketing​ ​teams​ ​to​ ​understand​ ​and​ ​improve​ ​user interaction​ ​on​ ​the​ ​web.​ ​With​ ​this​ ​in​ ​mind,​ ​he​ ​and​ ​a​ ​few​ ​folks​ ​much​ ​smarter​ ​than​ ​himself​ ​started​​ ​FullStory​,​ ​a radically​ ​new​ ​type​ ​of​ ​web​ ​analytics​ ​tool​ ​that​ ​captures​ ​every​ ​user​ ​event​ ​(yes,​ ​all​ ​of​ ​them),​ ​unlocking​ ​session playback,​ ​real-time​ ​search,​ ​and​ ​a​ ​natural​ ​way​ ​to​ ​explore​ ​user​ ​data.

wwwView Scott Voigt's profile on LinkedIn

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