Purchasing via mobile phones traces back to 1997 when the first two mobile-phone enabled Coca Cola vending machines were installed in the Helsinki area in Finland. The machines accepted payments via SMS text messages. It has been a sinuous trail since but, a recent study suggest how mobile has penetrated deep into customer’s psyche and how it affects the purchases.
Mobile is no longer a luxury but a companion for millennials, who also happen to be prime audience for retailers.
And haven’t we witnessed yet the craze and consistent growth of m-commerce in recent Black Friday and Cyber Monday spree that drove sales to another level and everyone just went into sort of doldrums- yet numbers show otherwise. The global m-commerce economy is taking over and is anticipated to reach 100 billion USD by 2017.
Hence it would be foolish if you do not strategize and make the most of this diversion. So what should you focus on?
Keep content at the heart of commerce
With S-commerce (social commerce) up next, engaging 2 billion users of social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram offering enormous marketing platform to retailers, it is crucial to engage young minds through making most of these social platforms. Custom content are all over internet and brands are in knee-deep competition to stand out, bond over with conversations and contests and bring customers closer to brands. The story telling idea is worth a fortune and is working against all odds.
To stand out of crowd you need to deliver consistent content that lasts the impression forever. Brands are now investing in rich content videos, as consumers are more into “right now” moment. They want to know and feel the real-time and connect to brand.
My personal favorite is this.
Chanel created a fan frenzy back in January 2015 when it held its Haute Couture fashion show and successfully leveraged social media platforms to promote the event by providing its social media fans with a unique VIP perspective. They actually customize the video content for respective platforms and it grabbed them viewer’s attention in no time. Over 7,841 retweets for a 2.5 mins video and 184,000 likes and 3,100 comments for 14 seconds video on Instagram, it actually became an overnight sensation. Both posts were among Chanel’s top performing over the period measured.
Seamless checkout online and in-store
According to a study 27% of US online shoppers have abandoned an order in the past quarter solely due to a “too long/complicated checkout process”. So if you offer a fast and most importantly secure checkout process online, you can avoid potential cart abandonment. Checkout in-store can be equally be frustrating. Studies have shown that consumers will walk away from a line after 2-3 minutes of waiting. The biggest turnoff is, like mentioned, lengthy checkout process and retailers are now confronted with the challenge of making transactions smooth and easier.
For that, merchants are looking towards mobile apps and devices to facilitate mobile payments. The very need of mobile wallets indicates the present opportunities for business to stay ahead of innovation and let take part in advance mobile technology and integrate payment processing and their customer behavior. This said, Apple Pay, PayPal and several others are already leading in front.
Starbucks already have an in-app system and we see brands picking up pace.
Food delivery site, Delivery.com did roll out the seamless integration of visa checkout- an online payment tool to make in-browser checkout easier.
Delivering well crafted omni-channel experience
Dealing with generation that expects Uber-like experience in day to day life, seamless, fast and convenient transactions are at the center of shopper’s psyche. The mobile phone is actually a true omni-channel device. Your audience literally have it all the time with them. So you better get it right, because they use it most for the rest of the day. Hence, delivering a unifying experience becomes mandatory than a choice.
With mobile being the most accessible tech, mobile apps are winning at gaining conversion rates compared to mobile sites. Mobile apps have opened realm of opportunities across the globe for customers as well as retailers. They convert 200-300% higher than mobile sites, which suggests additional set up of more engaging ways by which brand can actually boost up the revenue and meet terms with conversion gape. Mobile apps are also a great way to get new users who are mobile first and uncover with app stores. Just like Uber did, by leveraging Geofencing. Following the footsteps of tech-giants Uber delved into using geofences. When users arrive at given location, Uber notifies them of the cars available to meet their needs. This offers proactive customer service catering to potential customers.
Hence one cannot turn a blind eye to the fact how geofencing helps brands to enhance the mobile app experience and make use it for effective branding.
Geofencing has an exceptional ability of capturing real-time location data and immediately connecting to customers. This enables retailers out there to leverage push notification and drive in leveraging geofencing and push notification to drive in-store traffic.
Offering instant product awareness
With the rising demand of “right now” and “this moment”, retailers are now forced to optimize their website best. The old school rule of customer waiting 3 second is no longer applicable. It’s now or never. If your e-commerce website is taking time to load you are losing out big time on several potential customers.
Speaking of e-commerce website or app, businesses have to expedite consistency in product data and work more towards productive design. Hence if a product is listed with different prices on website and mobile app you are so dead in terms of credibility. So, consider shipping costs, promotion coupons, product price while coordinating across channels. Customer today expect seamless product-aware experience and brands are expected to make it easy for establishing brand loyalty towards customers.
Amazon’s brand new Fire Phone is testimony to that. The Firefly feature on the phone recognizes 100 million items by image, text, or barcode, enabling one click shopping.
M-commerce is extensively spreading across the globe. Millennials are now changing the way we shop online. The paradigm shift from E-commerce to M-commerce and extending to S-commerce, indicates the changing psyche of shoppers and flexibility they demand in online shopping. Now is the time to be on toes and embrace it before it’s too late. Aforementioned factors offers clarity as to what your customers require when you are just getting started with it.