Closing the Mobile Conversion Gap: 3 Key Must-Knows
Data on consumer behavior indicates that digital buyers are eager to engage with brands through mobile devices. While this mobile trend presents a growing opportunity for e-commerce merchants, the reality is that mobile conversions continue to lag significantly behind desktop sales.
Furthermore, while the percentage of mobile visitors grows year-over-year, conversion is lagging further and further behind: 69 percent of consumers are using mobile for their shopping search, yet mobile conversions average only 25 percent of all purchases, according to a recent study.
It's clear that the consumer’s experience on mobile is very different from other devices. This disparity is having a huge impact on the e-commerce bottom line.
To crack the mobile conversion code, we established a community to lead a cross-industry initiative designed to crowdsource data from a community of merchants experimenting with checkout and e-commerce optimizations.
The initiative, called the Mobile Optimization Initiative (MOI), was created to obtain answers around the mobile conversion shortfall through consistent and rapid experimentation. MOI partners include Magento, PayPal and my company, HiConversion. Together with e-commerce merchants, systems integrators and technologists, the community is committed to sharing insights and expertise to close the mobile conversion gap.
Here are our key findings to date.
Safety (and Knowledge) in Numbers
Data from merchants participating in the initiative is collected uniformly and anonymously across the cohort. Participants are able to see and exchange critical funnel and customer behavioral data firsthand — without worrying about competitive vulnerabilities.
Having access to a sizable amount of current and relevant data, yet having the comfort of knowing that their data is protected and strictly kept in confidence, means that participants are able to learn from a larger data set than just their own metrics. Beyond that, the ability to anonymously benchmark results helps retailers better understand how their e-commerce strategies perform relative to other retail segments.
Takeaway: There's significant value in creating cooperative research partnerships. Crowdsourced data can reveal much greater insight than simple internal (i.e., single site) experimentation.
Mobile CX is a Different Breed of E-Commerce
Community experimentation with the conversion funnel, led by conversion experts from our partner system integrators, revealed some interesting disconnects between the consumer’s mobile and desktop shopping experience. Specifically, the community participants saw firsthand how big a role checkout configuration played in transaction success and cart abandonment. Through the community insights, the following pain points for mobile conversion were identified.
Checkout Conversion Killers
- Coupon and promo fields can have a negative effect on conversions when too prominent. Mobile shoppers want these, but the trick is to right-size them so that they: a) aren’t so minimized that buyers can’t find the field; or b) so large that consumers are distracted by the urge to leave the checkout process to hunt for coupon codes.
- Unclear payment options are simply unacceptable. If consumers can’t pay, they won’t stay. Creating streamlined, one-to-few-click payment options are key. Lengthy form fields and multipage checkouts all drive down conversion rates. Reducing checkout friction isn’t just a consumer convenience. Program participants realized a 9 percent to 15 percent revenue lift once they created a streamlined, incentive-rich checkout experience.
- Continuous optimization produces long-term growth. Online consumer behavior, preferences and expectations are constantly changing. That’s why it's critical that merchants continuously look at ways to improve the user experience in order to see continued revenue growth and be relevant in the highly competitive online retail space.
Forrester Research was commissioned by the MOI to perform a Total Economic Impact™ Study of participating in the community initiative.
The study quantified its findings through participating merchant interviews and rigorous analysis of experiment findings. Through the study, Forrester was able to confirm the MOI provides a robust 226 percent return on investment over a three-year period.
Participating merchants were also able to reduce friction and improve mobile checkout CX, driving a compounding revenue list of 9 percent to 15 percent — positively impacting both mobile and desktop performance.
In Closing: Making the Case for Cooperation
The true value of the MOI is that cooperation delivers inspiration. Having a community of e-commerce merchants participating in meaningful and standardized experimentation, with sharing of data, provides a significant advantage over trying to run A/B tests on their own.
The community-based multivariant testing platform means that information and outcomes can be shared easily and freely. Not only that, the insights gained from shared, real-time data has proven to be a boon for all participants.
My parting comment is to encourage retailers, both online and offline, to seek ways to mutually support each other in their mission to create a better experience for their customers. As they build an ever-more responsive, informed and ultimately successful retail enterprise, know that you're not alone. There's strength in numbers.
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Dr. Aganovic is a retail technology expert, serial entrepreneur and CEO, founder of HiConversion. Prior to HiConversion, he has served as CEO and founder of technology companies Apptimum, Eisenworld and Cylex Systems. He earned a PhD – EE Optimization Theories from Rutgers University.