Mobile phones have become a necessity in modern society. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t own a smartphone. According to the Pew Research Center, 95 percent of Americans now own a cellphone, with 77 percent owning a smartphone (up 35 percent from Pew’s initial 2011 smartphone survey).
These pocket-sized, web-connected devices enable us to talk to our friends, check the news and post to social media pages, all while on the go. In this sense, smartphones seem like a great opportunity for ecommerce brands because it means that shoppers can reach virtual stores any time they want. But for some reason, e-store owners aren’t seeing this assumption come true just yet.
Why is that?
The truth of the matter is that mobile ecommerce is clunky and cumbersome; or, as Business Insider puts it, “The mobile shopping experience is a nightmare.”
The article goes on to say that U.S. adults spent 59 percent of their time on mobile compared for 41 percent on desktop, but only spent 15 percent of their dollars on mobile compared to a staggering 85 percent on desktop. Translation? Consumers prefer shopping on their mobile devices, until it comes to check out.
The reason for this is entirely technological. Mobile phones suffer from limited screen size, which is fine for e-store browsing but becomes frustrating for field entries such as credit card numbers or shipping addresses; especially when autocorrect is involved.
Similarly, spotty Wi-Fi or LTE coverage could baffle customers enough to just wait to process their payments once they get to a laptop computer. Not to mention consumer security and privacy concerns regarding entering payment information over public Wi-Fi connections.
So now that we understand what the problem is, what’s the solution? Well, there are many ideas to improve the mobile customer experience.
A Remedy for Mobile Melancholy
The first method relies on tech companies to develop smartphones with larger screens and improved user experience. This is already happening as big brands are developing voice-to-text capabilities, more intuitive word-recognition software, smaller 4G tablets, bigger touchscreen phones and more.
The second step is to develop e-stores that empathize with mobile users. So, if you are looking to set up an ecommerce website, be sure to examine different platform providers for robust mobile features. These should include full mobile checkout functionality, various mobile ecommerce templates or themes and HTML 5 compatibility for iOS and Android.
Some platform providers even employ ecommerce applications that can be managed via mobile device.
Once you have your e-store up and running, you’ll want to remove any functions that negatively impact the consumer experience. For example, popup advertisements and notifications can slow down load times or hinder mobile browsing enough to send shoppers away from your site. The same can be said for cluttered webpages, elusive checkout buttons and excessive clickthroughs; so, be sure to design with mobile in mind.
Finally, some savvy ecommerce vendors are employing ‘click to shop’ or ‘buy’ buttons on their social media pages to turn marketing directly into conversions. According to Marketing Week, nearly one-third of online shoppers (31 percent) use social channels to browse new items. It’s time to get in front of your buyers by posting ‘click to shop’ buttons on your Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest pages.
Are Your Ready to Make the Change?
The mobile ecommerce market is expected to grow by leaps and bounds in the next few years. Experts speculate that the global ecommerce will continue its double-digit growth through 2020, when sales will top $4 trillion! Much of this will be driven by greater mobile penetration, the expanding middle class and improved logistics and internet infrastructure.
Are your ready to meet the challenges of a mobile ecommerce revolution?