Posted by Indusa Admin on August 6, 2015 5:05 am
Easy affordability and anytime, anywhere connectivity has led to the massive proliferation of smartphones; it has made provision of mobile apps a top priority for ecommerce providers. US online retail sales is expected to reach $334 billion in 2015 and will grow to $480 billion by 2019, according to Forrester’s latest five-year ecommerce forecast. With mobile commerce, retail organizations can offer a rich and consistent user experience to a large audience across several technological devices and operating systems. Mobile commerce can help organizations forge deeper relationships with their customers and provide new revenue streams.
Mobile commerce is flourishing across industries, compelling retailers to keep up with the latest technological trends. According to Forbes, mobile currently accounts for 29% of ecommerce transactions in the US and 34% globally. The end of 2015 forecasts mobile share to reach 33% in the US, and 40% globally. However, lack of awareness, absence of standardized payment mechanisms, security concerns, shortage of global high speed connections, and poor collaboration between service providers and network operators hamper the widespread adoption of mobile commerce.
To build a successful mobile commerce strategy, retailers need to incorporate features that augment the overall shopping experience and result in customer delight. The following are a few features that are essential for mobile commerce success:
- Develop User-Friendly Apps: Since smartphones have become the primary medium for users to shop and connect to brands, they look for a gratifying user experience across various devices and operating systems. Attractive and intuitive UIs, simple design, and easy navigation enable a quick and enjoyable purchase journey, ensuring customer engagement and retention. Additionally, predictive search, single-page checkout, secure and smooth payment processes, and real-time order status amplify the entire shopping experience.
- Incorporate Spectacular Visuals: Small screen sizes of smartphones make it difficult for shoppers to appreciate products such as clothes and furniture. When shopping for items through smartphones, many users show reluctance in buying products that are unfamiliar. While most mobile commerce apps offer a seamless user experience across screen sizes and resolutions, retailers need to incorporate high quality zoom features that allow users to view products of their choice in an enlarged format. Additionally, enabling users to send images to a desktop to view products on a bigger screen helps augment the entire shopping experience.
- Overcome Connectivity Issues: A large percentage of mobile shoppers have concerns with the connectivity of the network, the lack of which might result in problems in the middle of a transaction. While most mobile phone providers offer excellent connectivity, they are never 100% reliable. In the event of a poor connection halfway through a transaction, mobile commerce providers need to ensure the product or payment details are not lost and enable a painless transaction the minute the network is back. Moreover, providing product and transaction related notifications to users guaranteeing a seamless shopping journey is fundamental.
- Enable Mobile Payments: With innovations taking place in every field, cash and card payments are soon becoming obsolete. Mobile wallets and other cashless modes of payments are changing the purpose of Point-of-Sale (POS) systems. Alternative payment methods through smartphones are not only convenient, but also ensure safety and security of transactions.
- Ensure Trust and Security: As more and more users are utilizing smartphones and other handheld devices to make online purchases, they are skeptical about security of their phones; they incessantly worry about their phones being hacked or infected by viruses that could lead to their personal or bank details being compromised. Enabling secure payment gateway integrations that are tailored to the mobile site helps protect users’ personal data and ensures safe transactions. Additionally, mobile commerce providers need to incorporate icons such as padlocks or security accreditation signs like Verisign that represent high levels of security, building trust in the minds of shoppers.
- Leverage Customer Feedback: Obtaining customer feedback and incorporating them to enhance business processes is crucial for mobile commerce success. By establishing social media options like Facebook and Twitter on mobile apps, customers have the freedom to voice their opinions about products and their overall shopping experience. Additionally, customer surveys, suggestion, and review pages and feedback forms on mobile apps can provide insight into customer pain points, helping retailers revise their strategies and ensure customer satisfaction.
- Integrate Effective Analytics: As more and more customers are going mobile, it is crucial for mobile commerce providers to incorporate effective analytical tools like Business Intelligence and Big Data that offer insight into customer buying behaviour. By capturing customer related data like product preferences and shopping trends, retailers will be in a better position to offer and suggest products that best fit their customers’ needs, providing a personalized shopping experience.
- Continuously Optimize: With continuous advances in mobile technology, retailers need to continuously optimize their mobile business models that support current as well as future devices and technologies. Seamless integration with existing and forthcoming sales channels along with tracking business trends, understanding customer needs and success metrics are key for increasing mobile sales and ensuring customer delight.
With major innovations in mobile technology and the evolution of online shopping, propelling business growth through mobile commerce platforms is one of the fundamental goals of retailers today. By incorporating mobile friendly features and aligning business goals with the latest trends in the industry, retailers can build state-of-the-art mobile commerce solutions that help them adapt to a mobile-obsessed world, augmenting their business outcomes across all spheres.
About the Author – Nisha Pillai
Nisha Pillai is the Senior Project Manager(Enterprise Mobility) at Indusa. She is responsible for working with Senior Management to prepare business plans and Go-to-market strategies for mobility practice.
Contributing Writer: Neha Kumar