Mobile Commerce: 5 Ways Your Company Can Improve

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Are you making it easy enough for your customers to shop using their mobile devices? Columnist Aaron Strout offers some ways to boost consumers’ mobile experience.

Mobile will likely play a role in many aspects of the shopper’s journey — research, cost comparison, reviews all the way through to purchase — so understanding how it best fits in with different customer segments is key.

Five Ways To Improve Your Customers’ Mobile Experience

Here are five areas your company can explore to help improve your customers’ mobile experience while, ideally, improving the bottom line:

1. Two of the major barriers that keep people from shopping online are security and the aggravation of having to type credit card details into one’s device during every checkout. One way to mitigate this is to tap into mobile payment technologies like ApplePay, PayPal, Google Wallet or Visa Checkout (disclosure: client).

In all cases, customers log their credit card and shipping information into an application or mobile site one time and then only have to provide a name and password in subsequent sessions. Many of these mobile payments providers keep data more secure than what occurs when people type credit card information into a mobile device, as the data is encrypted, and card numbers are kept away from potentially watchful eyes.

2. While this should seem obvious to everyone, marketers should be shopping their own site via a few different mobile devices monthly. Even if a company’s website or mobile app haven’t changed, devices and their mobile operating systems do.

Sometimes, the simplest of changes can break the user experience and thus cost thousands, if not millions, in lost revenue. Build this process into your monthly routine,  even if you have to set a reminder on your calendar.

3. Work with the digital/web team to look at the company’s web logs. (Most companies use tools like Google Analytics or Webtrends.)

It’s critical to know which pages mobile customers are reaching (or not reaching) when they visit you via a smartphone or tablet. By the way, if you aren’t already doing this regularly for all web visitors and adjusting the user experience and content accordingly, it’s time to start.

4. Use location-based technologies to assist shoppers who are using their mobile device as they shop brick-and-mortar retailers. This can be anything from making your site optimized for local search all the way through to Bluetooth Low-Energy (also called BLE or Bluetooth Smart) beacons.

Because customers expect search to be as relevant as possible, the more one can do to enhance this experience, the better. And increasingly, relevant in-store experiences can differentiate shopping experiences among retailers.

5. Consider testing social commerce plays like the partnership Domino’s struck with Twitter. While the idea of “social commerce” is still one that is slowly evolving, there are certain places within social sites where giving customers the opportunity to click or tweet to buy can make it easier for those who feel comfortable doing so.

Pinterest has clearly paved the way in this space, as many retailers realize that combining the three elements of visually appealing pictures, social experiences and “click to buy” can make for a “sticky” and repeat-worthy experience.

And one last reminder: Don’t assume that what works on a smartphone works on a tablet, just as you wouldn’t assume that what works on a laptop or desktop works for a smartphone.


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