Mobile Commerce: A Short Journey in an Upward Spiral
There are close to 5 billion smartphone users around the world. In 2017, 188.4 million consumers used their mobile devices to either shop, browse or do research. That's a goldmine waiting to be explored by retailers.
With such a large number of consumers on their phones shopping, surfing, browsing, reading, interacting and sharing, why do online retailers struggle to bring more traffic to their websites?
Mobile users today are intelligent and selective, but extremely low on patience. For retailers to target such users, they need to be smarter, better and faster.
And not everyone is able to do that.
So, how will you start on your journey to increase mobile site visitors?
Optimize your website for mobile devices and make it mobile friendly. This is the thumb rule.
The answer cannot get any simpler than this. It alone gives a solid boost for online retailers. When there are more mobile users than desktop users, isn’t it inevitable to target your audience on mobile devices?
"In the past we could introduce a new line of shoes and nurture its growth in a measured period of time, region by region," says Simon Atkins, North America brand director, Adidas. "We called the shots. But now, thanks to mobile, the information spreads so quickly across the globe that we run the risk of having unsatisfied consumers if the hot new product isn’t available in their market."
Mobile has put power in people’s hands; everything is readily available at their disposal. This the reason marketers everywhere have shifted their focus to digital marketing.
Total ad spend on mobile devices for 2017 was $143.54 billion, and is expected to rise to $217.42 billion by 2019.
Mobile devices provide users with instant gratification. This is the primary reason why they will spend more and more of their time consuming and sharing things online.
- A sense of closeness: Having a smartphone is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Mobile devices give a sense of accomplishment to users. Sixty percent of users say they feel more confident and prepared with their phones around them.
- Behavioral differences: One interesting thing about mobile users is that they interact differently. The same user will behave differently on a mobile device than on a desktop or PC. The speed at which users shop or interact with websites today is incredible. This is called micro-moments, a term introduced by Google. For example, a person traveling in a bus sees a guy wearing a great T-shirt. No more waiting to get to a PC or start hunting in different stores. He simply takes his smartphone out, searches online and places an order. This is giving people the power to do what they want, when they want and how they want. Here's an infographic that explains how to optimize your website for mobile visitors.
- The race against expectations: Brands feel that consumers today are unforgiving, ruthless and demanding. People make decisions faster than ever today. Even a small amount of friction can upset shoppers and send them into the waiting arms of your customers. ”Five years ago, our web-based ordering was a cumbersome process," admits David Maloney, chief digital officer, Domino’s. "From the time people landed on our homepage to placing an order, it often took more than 25 steps. That was way too long and complicated. We lost a lot of people.” Today, Domino’s has an app called Zero-clicks. Past orders are saved in the app and it takes less than 10 seconds for a customer to order.
To optimize one’s website for mobile visitors is a timeless strategy. No matter how many times it has been told, the underlying mechanism never changes. The key to long-term survival is improvise, adapt, overcome.
Stephen Meyer is the head of the sales and marketing departments for QeRetail, a company that provides internet marketing services, e-commerce website development and e-commerce solutions, and multistore e-commerce website management solutions.
Related story: Reaching, Engaging and Converting Mobile-First Consumers