Over the past few years, consumer behavior has undergone a monumental shift, fueled by advancements in mobile technology. While desktop traffic has languished since 2017, mobile web traffic has increased 30.6% over the same time period (SimilarWeb).
This shift in consumer behavior is forcing both traditional brick-and-mortar retailers and online-only e-commerce shops to shift their strategies to accommodate customers on mobile devices.
For both businesses that are online-only and those that have an omni-channel approach, a strong mobile commerce (or "m-commerce") strategy will help you achieve your overall business goals.
Customers Come to Mobile Sites to Research and to Buy
In the past, mobile shoppers would start their shopping journey with product research on their phones, but they were more likely to complete their purchase online via desktop or in a store.
While this is still a common path to purchase, more and more customers come to mobile sites ready to buy. For tech products alone, mobile purchases increased by 2x from 2015 (7%) to 2019 (24%) according to a report by Google.
Increasingly, the path to purchase isn’t just spanning mobile and desktop, but digital, and in-store experiences. Innovations in Buy Online, Pick-Up in Store (BOPIS) offerings and mobile point of sale (mPOS) systems means that consumers are interfacing with digital experiences in new ways. On one hand mobile technology can make for faster checkout times and product discovery, which is what 78% of U.S. consumers reported (Mobile Marketer), but on the other hand, it can also create more points of digital experience failure.
E-commerce leaders are setting the bar for mobile experiences. This means that across the board, customers now expect mobile experiences to be fast, low-friction, and intuitive, even when their journey spans multiple devices.
1. Make It Fast
Whether you're optimizing to support mobile browsers or shoppers, you need to make sure your website and mobile app is fast.
Consumers today have exceptionally high standards for the mobile experience. Google reported that 44% of people get more frustrated when the load time of a brand’s mobile site increases.
Speed matters, but how fast is fast enough? E-commerce companies should aim to load in at least 3 seconds. But, don't stop there. Aim to load faster than your biggest competitors. Shoppers who visit fast websites aren't just more likely to convert; they're more likely to browse and add additional products to their orders.
Some causes of slowness—like the shopper's network—are out of your control. You can't control whether a shopper is connected to a good wi-fi network or whether they're stuck using a 3G on the go. While considering user connection speeds might feel like an "EDGE" case, it's best to optimize your website to load quickly even when network speed is less than ideal. Take the extra steps to ensure your product images are optimized, and look out for third-party scripts or pixels that could be making your website laggy on the front-end (Performance and the FullStory Script).
Then, look for areas of friction and streamline.
2. Make It Frictionless
Whether it's frustrating or just slowing things down, any friction in your mobile experience will increase the likelihood that your visitor will bounce from your app. Research indicates that 25% of users will only open an app once, so reliably delivering a good experience for new users isn’t optional for businesses that want to compete (Localytics).
Common causes of friction include:
Too many steps, especially during initial app setup or onboarding
Too many form fields
User research is one way you can uncover points of friction in your app. Of course, you can also turn to FullStory to help. Use FullStory's funnels to quickly identify where users are dropping-off points. Then, dive down into session replay to get insights about exactly which parts of the experience could be streamlined or optimized. Discover a bug in the process? Creating a ticket in Jira is just one click away.
A Note on Session Replay for Mobile Apps
I’m not sure about you, but most of us have pretty close relationships with our mobile devices. This is why FullStory for mobile apps was built from the ground-up to respect end user privacy. FullStory’s Private by Default session replay is a recreation of your mobile experience, not a screen recording.
3. Measure Your Cross-Channel Experience
If you're sending promotions to your customers via email, it's most likely that they'll open the email on their phone, which means that their email click-throughs are likely to be happening on mobile, too.
Make sure that your hard-earned email clicks aren’t going to waste because of the mobile experience on the other side. The key to being able to optimize your mobile customer experience for your e-commerce business is having the power to understand it from the perspective of individual customers.
A digital experience platform can help you gain a complete picture of how your customers interact with your site or app, no matter the device, and eliminate uncertainty. Stop wondering, "What is my mobile user experience really like?" For example, how do you understand the mobile experience through the lens of your complete customer journey?
Leading companies see mobile as an integral piece of how their customers experience their brand—whether on the web, in-store, or on mobile apps. How will your brand ensure the digital experience meets your customers where they are?