Mobile strategy is so much more than smart phone apps and mobile-friendly websites. Not only does M-commerce give you another way to sell your products, it can also teach you more about your customers, giving you the insight you need to enrich their shopping experience, and strengthen marketing activities across all channels, helping to drive sales from every direction.
Take full advantage of mobile commerce with these ten tips:
1. Make sure it works
Make sure your mobile site works properly before you do anything else. The more mobile devices your website can be viewed on – and that includes tablets and PDAs – the larger your marketplace. Avoid alienating customers by making sure your site loads and functions properly on the major operating systems: IOS (Apple), Android, Blackberry, Windows and Linux.
2. Deliver in 3 seconds
People don’t have the time or patience to search your mobile site; they need to see the solution (or direction to it) instantly. Here are three ways to make the right first impression fast:
- Let people know they’ve arrived at a reputable, trustworthy and familiar mobile site by prominently positioning your branding in the centre of your landing page
- Keep top-level navigation simple. Use between five and nine choices with titles that make sense to the customer and consider the next natural step from each. Think “drill-down”
- Make the most of rich-media and draw attention to popular products and special promotions with rich product images, multiple multi-view shots, videos, banners and interactive merchandising techniques
3. Make the effort with Search
Over 50% of customers use the search feature on mobile sites. Make sure your search bar stands out, on every page of your mobile site, and index it thoroughly with your catalogue. Yes, it’s a time consuming task to search optimise every product in your store but the result will pay dividends.
4. Think fast and simple
Mobile users are less likely to browse a site as leisurely as they do on their computer. Screen size, location, signal and battery-life make customer interactions on a mobile, sprint-like and frequent. Keep that in mind. Design your site, navigation, content and tasks to be quickly digestible, easy to use and intuitive.
5. Don’t limit your range
Don’t underestimate what a mobile customer will purchase on a mobile phone; the device used has no influence on spend. If you sell big-price items on your web site, offer the same on your mobile site. Don’t discriminate by channel – let your customers buy what they want from where they want.
6. Keep stock updated
One sure way to lose a customer is to lead them through the entire buying process only to find out, at checkout, the product they’ve selected is out of stock. Your customer will feel frustrated and you will look disorganised. Be sure to have an inventory and update the mobile data feed as frequently as your stock turnover demands.
7. Help people find you
For every shopper that buys through your mobile site, sixty other shoppers will be using it to research your product before buying in your store. Help those customers by showing them the location of your nearest store using the GPS capabilities of the smart phone. Go one step further and include a live inventory feature allowing customers to view store availability and reserve items for collection.
8. Take mobile in-store
Customers already use mobiles in-store for pre-purchase research. Make it easier by providing free Wi-Fi in your store and incorporate QR codes into your packaging and point-of-sale displays. By allowing shoppers to scan these codes with their phones, they can instantly access information-rich content on your products and promotions, whilst giving you invaluable shopping data.
9. Insightful app development
If you develop an app based on assumption rather than fact, you could miss a critical feature and face a barrage of damaging reviews and costly updates. Design your app to work intuitively with your customer’s needs by watching how they shop on your mobile site. Pay attention to those who spend more money, more frequently, and then develop an app they, and others like them, will want.
10. Learn and improve
Mobile is new to you – and to everyone else. As technology improves, the opportunities will continue to evolve and grow. It is therefore vital you measure everything your customers do, and learn from it. Compare your findings with your eCommerce stats to improve the customer experience and enhance your mobile site as you go.