What do you do when your customers expect increasingly faster e-commerce websites (even on mobile phones over slow Internet connections), Apple-grade web page design, Amazon-like checkout experience and customer service they are used to getting at Zappos? You don’t need another software developer to tell you what your customers want, but there are already solutions and techniques that can help your store gain competitive advantage over the competition.
The Mobile e-Commerce as a Competitive Advantage
Let’s review the accelerating e-commerce trends that will define online sales in 2015, and then discuss tools available right now that will help you improve the customer experience – all without waiting for the future to arrive!
Let’s review the trends that have been with us for some time, but are now accelerating into significance.
By the total share of mobile sales this nugget isn’t readily visible, but the mobile e-commerce growth is three times as fast as overall growth in e-commerce sales: 48% for the former vs. 16% for the latter! For retailers and e-commerce vendors this means that the investments for growth are three times more effective in the mobile space.
2. Competition Intensifies as Traditional Retailers Get Savvier
Though e-commerce is booming, more than 90% of all shopping still happens in physical stores, according to Google. For items costing $1,000 or more, shoppers take an average of 45 days to make up their minds; for purchases less than $50, it takes them 10 days on average.
Online Retail Device Use Summer 2014
Even though customers clearly have all the time to use faster and bigger stationary computers for their research, they are increasingly prone to turning to their mobile phones. For many traditional online and offline retailers, the mobile-only customer majority is no longer a forecast – it is a reality.
3. Not Even all of the Millennials are Shopping on Mobile Phones
Mobile Use During Holiday Shopping 2014 (eMarketer)
Price check is increasingly how mobile e-commerce extends to offline purchases. The majority of all consumer purchases are influenced by online research so mobile is catalyst for sales transactions on desktop and in-store.
Yet when it comes to actual shopping on mobile devices, not all age groups are created equal – and the young aren’t the ones leading the way. Undeterred by slow speeds and poor mobile optimization, the 30-39 year olds is the group that is most eager to buy on mobile, with 20% willing to make purchases – almost double the rate of the more price-conscious 20-29 year olds.
Mobile e-Commerce is What Customers Want
Customers are increasingly mobile, so a mobile experience 1. must be available and 2. must be fast enough.
Customers are often on-the-go, with slow mobile Internet as the most significant barrier keeping them from completing purchases on their devices. Research by Google found that even if websites are a quarter of a second slower than those of a close competitors they are visited less often. So both brick-and-mortar and virtual retailers must invest in a good enough mobile presence – or risk becoming irrelevant.
Some retailers are opting for dedicated mobile e-commerce websites, others choose a mobile-first responsive redesign, with the rest hoping that wishlisting and easier account management will encourage customers to browse on mobile – and complete purchases on desktops or at a store.
Whatever the solution, improvements to mobile user experience should be retailers’ top priority. Feel free to contact us for a free evaluation of your current Magento mobile store experience.