There’s a shift happening. And it’s less than 5 inches big.
Smartphones have changed everything. People communicate in 10 second Snapchats, read the news in 140 characters or less and can stream any song, movie or show whenever and wherever they are. Today, everything needs to be packaged up to fit into this always-on, always available screen — and shopping is no different.
This year alone, global sales on mobile devices are expected to grow to over $280 billion (from $150B in 2014), according to Forbes, so we surveyed over 12,000 smartphone users to better understand the habits of retail shoppers. Over 90% of people use their phone while retail shopping but people still aren’t convinced smartphones provide the best shopping experience with only 15% of respondents preferring to shop via mobile (vs. desktop or in store).
So how can retailers leverage this always-on platform to maximize profits and increase sales?
Here are three ways you can improve your mobile strategy to create a great mobile brand experience:
1. Optimize for mobile
With complaints like product images are too small or sites are too slow and hard to navigate, it’s not surprising only 15% of people think smartphones give them the best overall shopping experience. Even if people aren’t ready to make a purchase via their smartphone, they’re still using your site to search for product info, read customer reviews or compare prices. Your ecommerce site needs to be responsive and optimized for mobile to make searching and navigating easy. According to MoPowered, 30% of mobile shoppers abandon a transaction if the experience is not optimized for mobile — that means missed revenue for your brand on top of almost one in three customers being dissatisfied.
2. Give shoppers options
Your website or ecommerce site isn’t enough (even if it’s mobile-friendly). In a recent Forbes survey of millennials’ shopping habits, over half of respondents downloaded a mobile shopping app because the experience was better than the company’s mobile site. Aside from a fully controlled channel outside of a browser, mobile apps give brands the ability to gather data and habits of customers to create more timely, personalized experiences — like a “Recommended for You” section. 65% of retailers report an increase in conversion rates by using personalization for these types of experiences throughout their customer journey.
3. Start now
Global sales on mobile devices almost doubled this year. Brands not incorporating a mobile experience into their overall brand strategy (not just their digital strategy) will miss out on not only significant revenue, but also the robust first-party data smartphones provide about customers — what they like, where they shop, when they’re shopping. A Forrester study commissioned by SAP surveyed senior marketing leaders at large enterprises and only 13% of respondents currently use consumers’ real-time locations to drive interactions. Without the type of data unearthed with a mobile-first approach, brands cannot deliver real-time content or relevant offers. Brands that don’t provide a dynamic, personalized experience consumers have come to expect will soon find their customers in the arms of a competitor that does.