Whether retailers are ready for it or not, shopping has gone mobile. Consumers are doing more product research and actual purchasing on their phones, and that’s not too surprising. Overall, mobile searches surpassed desktop searches in 2015. People shop where they’re comfortable and where they spend their time, and data shows quite often that’s on mobile.
Retail is changing in many ways, and this is another way retailers need to adjust. Online-only retailers may already be well on their way to creating positive m-commerce experiences, but for omnichannel retailers, mobile may seem daunting. M-commerce doesn’t have to be that difficult, though, especially if you prepare. The following tips and tricks will help you build a mobile shopping experience that pleases customers and benefits your business.
1. Design the Shopping Experience for M-Commerce
First, make sure your website has a mobile version that’s designed with these shoppers in mind. What works on a desktop isn’t necessarily the same as what works on mobile, so don’t assume it is. A user-friendly mobile site with clear product offerings, descriptive buttons, and easy-to-find security and shipping information goes a long way in helping facilitate customers’ purchases. When people have a positive experience on your mobile site, they’re more likely to come back.
2. Promote Mobile Payments
Not surprisingly, as mobile shopping increases, mobile payments are also on the rise. As these increase in popularity, retailers should take steps to integrate this feature into their sites and promote it so customers know it’s an option. Shoppers want convenience, and mobile payments are another way you can eliminate obstacles at checkout.
3. Develop an App
When created wisely, apps can be quite beneficial for retailers. That being said, your app will need to go beyond providing a place to browse products. You should consider including mobile payment capabilities, shipping and tracking information, store location and layout information, and chatbots. Some retailers go so far as to include technology like augmented reality. You want your app to provide an immersive, helpful experience, so personalized, user-friendly features are key.
Most importantly, make sure your mobile app works well and runs fast. A slow, laggy experience can damage customer experience, making them unlikely to use the app in the future. Program your app to sync with a strong communication network, including Wi-Fi and cellular.
4. Harness Beacon Technology
A lot of shoppers use mobile for shopping at home or while on the go, but that doesn’t mean mobile is separate from retail stores. With beacon technology, retailers can interact with customers while they’re in stores, providing relevant information, offers, and customer service to customers’ phones based on their behavior. By combining mobile and beacon technology, retailers can bridge the gap between in-store and online shopping and create a real omnichannel experience.
5. Provide Mobile to Employees in Stores
You’ve likely heard that retail locations need to provide experiences, not just places for transactions. Arming store associates with technology helps them provide better shopping experiences for customers. When an associate has a mobile device, he or she can find information and complete transactions for customers right on the sales floor, eliminating the need for the customer to wait in line at a register. This technology can make the experience feel easier and more personal for shoppers — more like a helpful conversation and less like a quick transaction — and it equips employees with the tools they need to sell better.
Retail is evolving quickly, and adapting to new technologies isn’t optional anymore. A mobile retail landscape doesn’t have to be scary, though. Use it wisely, and mobile can be a significant asset.