How Device Obsession Will Help Mobile Commerce Thrive in 2015
Currently, 1.75 billion people in the world own a smartphone. And for the first time in history, commerce on mobile devices has surpassed online shopping via desktop. If the proliferation of app purchases for mobile devices is any indication (e.g., Apple's New Year's week record-breaking $500 million in sales), 2015 is going to be the year for businesses to capitalize on mobile commerce. Here are three tips on how to stay up to speed and capitalize on the mobile opportunity:
1. Assign a mobile champion to your company's e-commerce team. It's vital to understand the playing fields of commerce and, at this point in the game, mobile is the No. 1 platform. Companies that understand the importance of reaching their customers via mobile technology, from smartphones to tablets, will undoubtedly have a competitive edge in the marketplace. Mobile opportunities bring a sense of urgency to the plate, so assigning a dedicated individual or department to carry out mobile campaigns and spread mobile messaging throughout the entire organization will make a company less likely to miss out on hot opportunities.
2. Optimize for mobile. Thirty percent of mobile shoppers abandon a transaction if it's not optimized for their device. Additionally, according to Amazon.com, every extra 100 milliseconds in load time decreases sales by 1 percent. Those milliseconds can add up to a lot of lost business, especially if consumers abandon your site because they're too frustrated with its visual discombobulation or quickly become tired of waiting for it to load. Therefore, make sure your web-based content is compatible with mobile devices in every component of the customer-digital experience, from responsive web design to primary focus on mobile development.
3. Make mobile engagement easy. Customer dwell time on emails can be as little as three seconds. This means that your messaging has to stand out — and stand out fast. The key to ensuring the success of mobile campaigns lies in generating clear visual calls to action that immediately catch a customer's eye. These elements — sales, coupons, special offers, etc. — need to be aesthetically compelling and instantly recognizable. On mobile devices, smaller screen space can make it more challenging to pick up on subtle designs, so a clean, appealing composition is essential if you want your readers to understand what your email is about, how it's relevant, and what they need to do next to find out more or facilitate a transaction.
In light of an astronomical 173 million smartphone users in the U.S. alone, along with 72 percent of tablet owners making purchases from their devices on a weekly basis, the modern consumer is now "always on, always connected." Mobile technology has afforded consumers the convenience to take advantage of mobile-based transactions. If your customers are taking advantage of mobile, then you can't afford not to.
Jess Stephens is the chief marketing officer of SmartFocus, a provider of contextualized mobile marketing technology.