Smartphones and other mobile devices have become an important part of commerce and the customer journey as a whole with advances in mobile technology changing the way that consumers research, purchase and pay for their products and services.
Consumers are highly likely to find out about your products first on their mobile phones, whether its from email newsletter, advertising, or simply online “window shopping”, so user interaction needs to be designed as a mobile-first experience. The shopping and product experience needs to provide value to drive to purchase, or you’re going to lose customers.
Consumers benefit in multiple ways from mobile retailers competing for their attention: the number one reason that online shoppers move to mobile commerce is the at-the-fingertips convenience that mobile commerce provides, and they can expect more seamless purchasing experiences to arise from the growth of mobile commerce. Purchasing online is advancing and becoming much faster and more convenient for the consumer, saving them the time associated with physically going to stores and making a purchase.
Retailers need to make the purchase experience as quick and simple as possible for maximum effectiveness. Although a one-click experience is optimal, it’s not always possible, but retailers need to remember that the more steps involved in purchase of a product, the more likely the customer is to abandon their shopping cart, so creating a streamlined checkout is an important factor in the success of mobile commerce for retailers.
Retailers must also strive to ensure that their web stores are designed with mobile commerce in mind – this means responsive designs which are simple, easy to navigate, and will look good on a smaller screen because poorly designed mobile site could drive potential customers away.
Although the mobile phone is the most personal and responsive path to the consumers, tablets are also becoming increasingly popular for online shipping, and are providing a great opportunity for retailers. Unlike smartphones, tablets behave in a very similar way to traditional desktop computers in their browsing capabilities and user behaviours, whereas smartphones have much smaller screen sizes and dimensions, so by comparison will offer a far more limited user experience.
Retailers could also be at risk of consumers checking their items out in the store and comparing prices online to find cheaper alternatives, which could result in losses for companies, or at the very least, a demand for lower prices.
Ultimately, mobile commerce could be a great opportunity for retailers, but they must develop new strategies in order to remain relevant and in control of the consumer mobile experience. This is a time of great opportunity for brands to capitalize on this new technology, so they should embrace the change.
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