Mobile commerce is making a significant impact on how brands sell and how consumers purchase.
Research reveals that 37% of UK online sales are now made on a mobile device. That’s 8.9% of all retail sales, which is expected to rise to 27% by 2018.
The mobile device has become a part of the shopper’s everyday lifestyle, from sharing content to conducting personalised searches.
If companies want to drive traffic to the point of sale, it’s important for brands to avoid negative mobile experiences.
Let’s explore why mobile devices matter and how your brand can convert more mobile consumers.
The Significance of Mobile Devices
The shopping experience doesn’t just happen when a customer makes a purchase. Customers engage with brands before and after sales are made.
Therefore, mobiles are key to helping businesses acquire and retain consumers.
Smartphones produce immediacy in purchasing decisions. After one-hour of product research on the phone, more than half of consumers want to make a purchase. That’s an opportunity for businesses to provide exclusive deals to mobile shoppers.
Mobiles also increase the effectiveness of email campaigns. In 2015, nearly 70% of emails will be opened on smartphones. For brands, this translates into fast access to product sales pages.
With the explosion of online video, people are more willing to watch videos in their spare time. So, whether consumers are travelling to work or relaxing in bed, they want something else to do.
By adding videos to your emails, it’s possible to increase click-through rates by 200-300%.
Since consumers aren’t limited to their desktops any more, mobile opens the door to various types of content. Businesses can now experiment with new engagement tools, like games, polls, and contests.
According to Juniper Research, “Mobile is no longer merely a channel through which to sell goods remotely (whether through app or mobile Internet), but a series of related channels through which their relationship with the consumer can be reinforced.”
Challenges Facing Mobile
Smartphones offer a great opportunity for brands to engage and sell to customers. Nonetheless, businesses are faced with the challenge of getting consumers to perform a particular action.
Why is it so difficult to lead consumers to complete a transaction?
Friction in the conversion funnel hinders customers from making purchases. It’s a set of barriers getting in the way of the desired point. And two types exist.
- Perceived friction concerns the customer’s behavior as he or she navigates your mobile site or abandons a specific activity. Without the right tools, it can seem impossible to understand what users are thinking.
- Real friction includes failures in design and technology. For example, software compatibility issues may make it problematic for a user to complete the desired action.
Sources of friction can occur throughout the conversion funnel. However, it’s particularly frustrating for the customer during the checkout process.
Due to difficulties in payment, 47% of shoppers abandon purchases on their mobile devices. In addition, 63% of users who abandon their shopping carts are less likely to try buying from that same retailer.
Other sources of friction stem from slow network feeds, fears about security, and problems with auto-correct or auto-fill.
Companies also struggle with fragmented brand experiences. This arises when customers feel they receive a different transaction experience on different devices.
The challenge is to achieve a seamless on-brand transition from in-store to desktop to mobile.
Reducing friction is one effective way of increasing conversion. Yet, it’s “difficult to spot sources of friction if you don’t know what to look for.”
In the past, companies have relied on site analytics to examine user behavior. It’s helpful for observing which pages customers visit and how long they stay on a specific page. Still, teams don’t know whether the consumer is engaged or confused.
Furthermore, analytics won’t uncover where users hover their mouse, how much the user scrolls around, or which buttons they almost click.
User testing fills some of these gaps, but with limitations. For instance, when users know they’re being observed, they might behave differently.
Plus, user testing takes a lot of time and effort. The company may need to compensate users for their participation.
So, what’s the best way to identify friction?
Spot sources of friction with session recording.
Recording individual user sessions avoids the problems mentioned above. It permits page-level testing, and it removes the observer effect.
There are two ways you could use session recording:
- First, your team can observe individual sessions. You can watch playbacks of the real-time interaction between the shopper and your website. Observe the user’s mouse movements and clicks and see which forms are being filled in.
- Second, you can collect aggregated data. The recording software captures all user sessions. The users’ behaviours are displayed onto a heatmap showing their combined activity. This lets your team focus on the areas of real interest.
Other advantages of session recording include easy implementation and the ability to focus on specific customer segments.
Identifying the problem is only half the battle. The problems must actually be fixed to enhance the mobile user experience.
The great news is that session recording provides a detailed analysis. It helps pinpoint the location of conversion barriers.
The ability to re-run session recording at any time gives your team options. This means that the impact of any changes can be measured without any hassle. Moreover, your business can see the return on investment.
“We can analyse the results ourselves, but we’ve also got so many other plates spinning. So we asked SessionCam, who provide our session-recording software. The way I see it, they live and breathe this sort of thing, whereas we have to cover all the other aspects of digital commerce.”
Fix the Friction
The smartphone is an extension of the customer. That’s why it’s an essential element of the conversion funnel.
Convert negative mobile shopping experiences into positive ones. Understand the friction by observing playbacks of individual user sessions and fix the issues.
To learn more about removing the friction from mobile commerce, download our full white paper.