Mobile has evolved for life on the go, making our lives faster, easier and more convenient. 

Therefore, retailers’ mobile commerce offering needs to also align to this, aiming to bring relevant and convenient offerings to us, and fast. With nearly a third of online shopping across all retail sectors now occuring on a mobile device, it’s clear mobile is a platform that plays a key role in the customer shopping journey, and as a result, is one that cannot be ignored.

While some retailers aim to offer fun or ‘cool’ experiences, such as making digital outfits or virtually trying clothes on, if these experiences are too complicated or require a large proportion of time to work out, they will be quickly forgotton as customers choose simplicity over novelty.

Here are five ways for retailers to make sure that their mobile offering is up to scratch:

Remember that not all smartphones are created equal

Retailers should consider different types of smartphones that customers may be using, whether it’s Apple, Android, Windows Phone or other. All of these have immediately noticeable differences – such as the size and shape of the screen – which should be accounted for when designing a website or app that is mobile-optimised.

However, there are also less noticable aspects of the devices, which might only be understood by frequent users. For example, where the ‘back’ button is, where the search function is or where push notifications appear on the screen. These seemingly minor differences can have a massive affect on sales.

If the ‘checkout’ button is where an Android user’s push notification appears onscreen, the customer might get distracted by a text message and accidentally abandon their order, or the lack of clarity in the checkout process can result in a customer giving up entirely on a purchase – the last thing retailers want.

Fix the little things

There are common design mistakes that every mobile website or app will make – and are usually easy to fix. For example, on a mobile site’s smaller screen, it could be difficult to remove items from the shopping basket. It’s these tiny problems that grind on users, and will ultimately lead them to stopping visiting your mobile site.

The secret to a good mobile commerce stategy is making the user’s experience as simple and seamless as possible, and that means fixing the little things as soon as possible.

Design ‘mobile-first’

The key differences between online and mobile offerings might seem obvious, yet it’s shocking how many retailers fail to get it right. Most online retailers now offer shoppers the option to watch a catwalk video of an outfit, or zoom in to examine the fabric of the item. However, on mobile devices, these functions often don’t work or are tricky to use. The best way to combat this is for retailers to adopt a ‘mobile-first’ strategy, where online visuals are initially designed for mobile, then scaled up for desktop.

Leverage loyalty

According to the 80-20 rule, 80 percent of a retailer’s revenue is generated by 20 percent of its customers. This rule highlights the importance of building a loyal customer base, and a great way to do this is through mobile.

Loyalty apps offer an exciting opportunity to allow consumers to self-serve – checking stock levels, setting up click-and-collect delivery options, reading reviews and having access to additional product information – all at their fingertips. Retailers can offer a personal touch by combining data gathered both in-store and online to offer timely and relevant content and offers.

Understand that life on the go doesn’t stop

The work doesn’t stop once you have optimised your mobile offerings to meet the demands of customers. Retailers need to stay relevant, interesting and useful across all channels, and mobile is no exception. Retailers need to constantly reinvent their brand and their offerings, whilst ensuring they are still getting the basics right.

Once the basics have been grasped, it is time to start thinking what will make your mobile site or app stand out from competitors. Retailers should always ensure that they are finding a balance between fun and simplicity, and are always putting Customer Experience at the centre of decision-making.

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