Should eCommerce Brands Focus On Mobile-First Experiences?

Posted by Gemma
Earlier this year there was a flurry of statistics published hinting that 2015 would witness the unavoidable "shift towards mobile asserting itself as the dominant user device for shoppers"1:UK shoppers are predicted to spend approximately £14.95 billion on their mobile devices in 2015, a huge increase of 77.8% in comparison to the £8.41 billion spent on mobile devices in 20142.With stats like these, it is no wonder that the UK has gained the status of being the largest mobile commerce (mCommerce) market within Europe3.  With that being said, a mobile optimised eCommerce site, has gone from being a “nice to have” to a “must have” for retailers, who don't want to miss out on the lucrative mCommerce market.The growth in mCommerce proliferation has been driven, in part by generation Z who, as the first generation of true digital natives, are constantly using devices to stay connected to the digital sphere. Additionally with #mobilegeddon, Google’s mobile-friendliness algorithm, rolling out earlier this year, there’s no doubt about the importance that Google too is placing on mobile experiences and therefore the importance of mobile optimisation for SEO.

Seamless cross device experience

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Today's "consumers don’t think of retailers as having online, offline or mobile channels", instead they expect to have a seamless shopping experience, easily changing from one platform to another without a hitch. With cross device use now the norm, it comes as no surprise that in relation to consumer purchasing "39% of buyers use at least one additional device during the shopping process"4.

So how can you ensure that your consumer has a seamless experience?

One thing I have learnt over the years, is that brands often forget to put themselves in the shoes of their consumers. It is no longer a case of simply standing by the statement "build it and they will come" with regards to eCommerce websites, you need to approach it as if you were a new consumer experiencing your site for the first time.I would recommend testing your site across devices, buying products from each site on a tablet, smartphone and desktop, noting down the challenges you find on each. By doing this, you will be able to get a real feel for the experience your consumer might gain when purchasing items from you.Some brands who already understand the importance of creating a seamless cross device experience are blazing a trail in multi-channel integration. We recently took a close up look at how NET-A-PORTER offers their customers a seamless experience across multi-channel platforms.

46% of UK eCommerce transactions are coming from mobile5

Earlier this year we highlighted that the mobile revolution was an important area for companies to invest in and with mobile commerce continuing to grow. Already mCommerce has made real headway on a global scale with 35% of global eCommerce transaction being achieved through mobile commerce6  with the UK outperforming the US and competing closely with Asia.
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As a leading player within the mCommerce revolution, UK businesses demonstrate the importance and benefits of creating a seamless cross device experience in order to deliver positive ROI’s. One of my favourite UK brands Fortnum & Mason recently redeveloped their site to create a beautifully redesigned and responsive site. The results in terms of UX and ROI are a great example of combining an audience-led strategy (in terms of the design and site architecture) with SEO functionality (considering Google’s mobile friendliness algorithm in the web design):Within just 3 weeks after launching their newly designed site, Fortnum & Mason experienced a 77% increase in mobile visits with a 57% increase in mobile conversions and 15% increase in overall conversions7. Pretty impressive results in a 3 week time frame don’t you think?!So that leaves the questions are you ready to join the mCommerce revolution and start seeing similar results?

Thanks for reading

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