Retail is an increasingly digital world and, more recently, it’s mobile. In fact, Forrester’s 2018 Retail Best Practices: Mobile Web study found smartphones will play a role in over one-third of total U.S. retail sales in 2018.
Consumers of all ages, from baby boomers to Millennials, are using their mobile devices to make purchases, with each demographic seeking different incentives and experiences when they buy. Therefore, with people of all ages moving to their phones to spend money, how should this influence the way retailers think about attracting and retaining customers?
All retailers should consider these five things in order to meet mobile customers’ needs and keep them coming back for more:
Like all shoppers, mobile customers are voluntarily giving you attention. It's your role as the retailer to make them feel welcome and wanted. This proves even more important for the one in four mobile shoppers using voice assistants to make purchases. They want a simple purchasing journey and easy access to all the information needed to make decisions.
Sounds great in theory, but how do you know what each shopper is looking for? No two purchasing decisions or buyers are the same. Retail, finance and healthcare are purchased differently by different consumers. Learning how your customers like to buy and finding ways of preempting their shopping decisions will make the experience far easier and can lead to better customer retention.
2. Seamless Experience
Functionality is key. Basic things like having a search function, making all pages easy to navigate, and supplying all relevant information (e.g., sizing info, price) can make a huge difference.
If your customers are mobile, your mobile web experience must meet their needs. The mobile web continues to draw double the traffic of mobile apps, and these users expect fast-loading pages and seamless shopping.
Recent studies also show app usage is consistently high, with 52 percent of respondents using retail apps weekly, and all respondents using at least one retail app at any time. The study also reveals the growing importance of millennial consumers — i.e., digital natives who are among the most proficient users and purchasers of retail mobile apps. Just over 60 percent of millennial respondents in the survey identified themselves as mobile savvy, more than three times the amount of respondents from previous generations.
Mobile customers want you to cater to their individual needs, tastes and interests. When they arrive on your site, make sure you remember them from previous visits. Show them the latest version of a line they browsed in the past, for instance. Or, if you launch a sale that matches their past purchasing habits, send them an email, and perhaps offer a discount code to entice them. Building a clear and simple buying journey can be incredibly effective.
4. Social Engagement
It’s not enough to get mobile users to “like” or “follow” your brand; you have to give them reasons to keep paying attention. Offer them exclusive deals from your social media channels, and post content that they genuinely want to engage with.
Video is one of the best ways to cut through the noise of crowded Facebook and Instagram feeds. In fact, 41 percent of shoppers express a desire for interactive video content on-demand. And it’s not just for watching! Marketers using video grew revenue faster — nearly 50 percent faster, in fact.
It pays to take the extra time and effort video requires to establish a connection with your audience. Doing so is vital to your long-term success. It can set you apart from your competitors and encourage customer loyalty.
5. Better Delivery
The recent expansion of next-day and same-day delivery services is changing customer expectations. More consumers now want instant gratification — even in places like their parked cars. Retailers need to embrace innovative delivery to remain competitive.
It's predicted global mobile e-commerce sales will nearly triple to $2.571 trillion between 2017 and 2021, so now’s the time to ensure you have everything you need in place to meet the demands of tomorrow’s mobile shoppers. Keep things convenient and personalized. And when it comes to the customer experience, make sure it's seamless and that competitive delivery options are available at the time of checkout. It all starts with knowing your customer, and using that knowledge to build a seamless digital customer journey.
Scott Gifis is president of AdRoll, an e-commerce growth platform that helps commerce businesses generate revenue.
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