At this point in time, it is well accepted that the usability of a mobile app or web site is a critical element of success. If you are not familiar with the concept, usability is a focus on making your web site or mobile app as user-friendly as possible. In practice, this involves making content easy to find and read, as well as making functions easy to find and use.
Usability goes much further than that, your entire web site or mobile applications should be optimized based on the needs of your target market. Which generally begins with research and testing to determine what will work best for your specific target market. Why is this important? Because modern consumers will no longer tolerate slow loading web sites, or unsightly interfaces that are difficult to use. Poorly designed functionality will push users away.
There are a large number of mobile apps or web sites available to consumers and they have come to expect a quality user experience, anything less than that will be a potential deal breaker.If you do the research and are able to understand the needs of your customers, you will be able to tailor your web site or mobile application appropriately.
The importance of mobile commerce
Mobile commerce, or mcommerce, has seen rapid growth in recent years. In 2015, total mobile commerce sales in the United States grew 38.7% over mobile commerce sales in 2014 (Internet Retailer). This works out to mcommerce accounting for 29.7% of all ecommerce sales in the United States in 2015. That percentage is set to be even higher for 2016. Mobile commerce is gaining momentum as a method for consumers to shop.
Mobile conversion rates
According to eMarketer, the conversion rate on mobile devices lags behind the conversion rate on desktop computers, however, mobile conversion rates are gaining. eMarketer found that between May 2014 and May 2015, the average ecommerce conversion rate on smartphones was 1.18%(this was an increase of 32.6% over the previous year). This is contrasted with a desktop conversion rate for the same time period of 3.35%.
Why do mobile devices have lower conversion rates than desktop and laptop computers? First of all, the nature of how we interact with mobile devices is different. Mobile users tend to be a less engaged audience that is often participating in other activities at the same time they are on their mobile device. This creates a situation where there is less intention in users’ browsing as users’ attention is being pulled in multiple directions.
These powerful concepts can help you get the most out of your mobile commerce efforts and improve your conversion rates:
Think mobile first
One mistake that businesses tend to make is that they treat mobile the same way that they treated their business when their web site was generating leads on desktop computers a few years ago. The market has changed and you need to as well.
Do not utilize the same design and approach that you have used for your web site over the years. Mobile users are different and interact with your business differently on mobile devices. Companies that are serious about mcommerce not only leverage best practices but will conduct several A/B tests to find the best options.
Designs created for mobile screens should take into account that there is less screen space to work with. Space is at premium and you shouldn’t try to fill it with pointless design elements. Focus on the core functionality and remove unnecessary items that do not enhance the user experience.
Improve your mobile engagement
Consider adding real-time engagement tools such as live chat to your web site or mobile app. They can have a big impact when users are on mobile devices. In a study by ATG Global, 90% of those surveyed found live chat helpful. eMarketer found that 63% of those surveyed were more likely to return to a website that offered live chat.
Live chat is easy to integrate into web sites or mobile applications, but there are several subtleties to consider, differences in chat button placement or timing, etc. can have an effect on your program. Keep in mind that you want to improve the experience for your users and not disturb the flow of their experience.
Live chat can help reduce expenses as well. The average interaction cost for a live chat is lower than for a phone call, additionally, you can improve efficiency since live chat representatives are able handle multiple chats at the same time.
Understand your customers
To be able to provide a quality mobile user experience you must first understand who your customers are and what they want and need from your business via your mobile presence. To do this, start by taking a look at your web site or mobile app’s analytics. You can find a wealth of insights about your own mobile customers. Analytics help you understand who your customers are, where they’re coming from, where they are bouncing and what devices they are using.
With analytics you can see what age group makes up the bulk of your mobile traffic and you will be able to see the gender that is driving your traffic. Based on this information and other insights, you will be able to better understand who’s coming to your mobile store and then make decisions about your mcommerce design and user experience to cater to this audience.
Beyond knowing who your customers are, you will want to dig deeper. Survey your customers to understand why they buy from your web site or mobile app. Customers can provide a great deal of valuable information if you just ask. What did you get right? What are their pain points along the customer journey? What would make it better? Make it easy for customers to give you feedback and they will give you valuable insights that will help you improve your web site or mobile app.
Utilize cross-device tracking
These days’ customers will utilize multiple touch points when making purchase decisions. It is important that you implement a cross-device tracking strategy to be able to identify and track the impact that mobile and other channels have on your sales. By understanding the differences between mobile and desktop conversion you can better understand the roles the various channels play in your sales efforts. You can also understand how to better service the needs of your customers at the various touch points along the customer journey.