How to Prepare for the Future of Mobile Commerce

Less than 10 years ago, consumers were shocked and awed by the prospect of visiting their favorite websites on their mobile phones. Now, with smartphone users totaling more than 1 billion and 1 in 3 US consumers owning a tablet, your customers aren’t just “browsing” on mobile – they’re buying.

Not only does mobile usage account for 21% of all Internet usage (Google), but 32% of all online purchases are made over mobile devices (BusinessInsider). And according to international investment bank The Goldman Sachs Group Inc, worldwide mobile commerce sales will account for almost half of total web sales by 2018.

Businesses must start viewing sales from a mobile perspective and adopting strategies that put mobile at the center of the user experience. Let’s take a look at how your business can better convert consumers via mobile and prepare for the future of mcommerce.

Many Devices, One Identity

According to a recent study by Experian, 72% of businesses recognize the benefits of using data to offer customers a joint, cohesive multi-channel experience, but 84% aren’t able to use the data effectively.

One of the biggest challenges for marketers when it comes to offering meaningful and effective mobile commerce experiences is that they lack a single view of their customers, and are dealing with a mountain of disorganized data created across devices. Much of this stems from marketers’ continued reliance on third-party tracking cookies to learn about their customers; these methods of consumer tracking are prehistoric compared to today’s mobile landscape, and simply do not function across devices.

Marketers are turning to first-party identity data to create individual, complete profiles of users across devices. Letting site visitors self-identify via registration and login is key in gaining the single, permission-based customer view necessary to provide shoppers with a personal, consistent cross-channel user-experience.

Consider the following experiences both with and without identity:

Supporting Sequential and Simultaneous Usage

While 90% of people move between devices to accomplish a goal, (Mobify), multiple screens aren’t just used sequentially – 41% of consumers use tablets and smartphones simultaneously on a daily basis. And recognizing customers at the point of site entry or checkout is only half the battle in today’s multi-channel landscape.

57% of consumers use one device to find information related to what they are doing on another device, and emailing (60%), internet browsing (44%), and social networking (42%) are the top 3 activities performed during simultaneous screen usage (HubSpot). This means that brands today must create cohesive customer journeys across channels and devices.

While a single view of customer identity is a good first step to making this happen, you need a database that can aggregate and make sense of all types of data at once. Choosing a solution that integrates directly with cross-channel marketing platforms is also necessary to connect the dots across screens and channels.  Providing customers with a cohesive, unified journey across all touchpoints, regardless of screen, is the key to reaching consumers with real-time relevance and maximizing on-the-go conversions.

How It’s Done:
With the release of its newest TV hit, Utopia, Talpa Media recognized the opportunity to create a connected experience that spans TV and Internet channels and devices. Viewers can register and login to the Utopia experience across any device, where they can earn points and prizes for watching live streams, leaving comments, voting, participating in live chats, and more. Tying all omni-channel activity to individual user identities powers seamless and relevant user experiences as viewers migrate between channels and devices, and Talpa is able to easily port this data into its existing marketing platforms to create personalized Utopia campaigns across email and more.

Simplify the Checkout and Registration Process

This may seem like a simple concept, but it’s where many brands fall short of maximizing mobile revenue. If consumers are known to abandon lengthy registration forms on desktop, being asked to key in their names, email addresses, locations, and passwords via today’s smaller mobile touchscreens is sure to make them jump ship.

Give shoppers a way to verify their identities and purchase with touch versus type by incorporating a registration system that offers social login as an option. Social login lets visitors register and sign-in with the click (or tap) of a button using one of their existing social media or pre-verified user accounts, making for a seamless mobile experience. In fact, over 60% of US and UK consumers say that they are likely to choose social login when using mobile devices if given the option.

Providing payment providers like PayPal and Amazon as login options further simplifies the mobile payment process by conveniently pre-populating checkout fields with existing account information.

For Example…

Rue La La gives mobile shoppers the option to sign-in to its mobile app using their Google+ account. These users are then given the option to quickly and securely buy with Google Wallet, which allows them to use funds from credit, debit and gift cards to make mobile purchases in just 2 taps.

By giving mobile shoppers the option to login and pay with Google, Rue La La saw a mobile traffic spike of nearly 50%, and a more than 50% increase in repeat purchases in the weeks following launch.

Business that fail to optimize for mobile commerce risk seeing a significant drop in conversion rates and revenue in the coming years. It’s time to think of mobile not just as a reflection of the desktop experience, but as a valuable, stand-alone component of a comprehensive, cross-channel user experience that drives shopping cart conversions.

For more information about how to create meaningful mobile experiences, download our free omni-channel toolkit here.

By Tobias Meyer-Grunow