Yesterday, I attended an AIMIA event focusing on mobile titled “mCommerce: The Mobile Spending Revolution”, and wanted to share some of the key insights and take-outs.
The event intended to show how mobile commerce is dramatically changing brands and agencies approach to consumer engagement and showcase the industry-leading examples of successful mCommerce.
It was a very insightful conference which saw a range of speakers including Kevin Miller and Calvin Chong from Orchard and Sofia Max from EPiServer who all spoke about how mobile is changing retail and how retailers are embracing this technology. Jordan Muir, CEO and Co-founder of Aussie Farmer’s Direct also shared their experiences.
Is it “The Year of the Mobile”? As we have been hearing for the last couple of years, this year is the year of the Mobile. But I think we can safely now say, it truly is. Yet, how has this small device changed the way we think about our customers?
According to research conducted by Orchard, Australia has one of the highest penetrations of mobile usage in the world, with 72% of people owning a mobile. 91% of people don’t leave home without it and see it as a key device for staying in touch with the world and making their lives easier. This is not simply staying in touch with people through voice and text or seeing what their friends are up to through social platforms, but by allowing them to buy online at a time and place that is convenient for them.
So how do you ensure the best mobile experience for your customers?
Start with Mobile
Eric Schmidt Executive Chairman of Google, recently said “whatever you’re doing, do mobile first’.
When looking to build an online experience, companies should start with mobile and embrace the constraints before building outwards to desktops, seeing a natural evolution to the larger screen. This will create the best experience on mobile for your customers without trying to squeeze everything from your desktop site into a much smaller, yet very powerful device.
According to research conducted by Orchard, 69% of people use mobile’s in store, whether to review the product they are looking at, or to compare prices at other stores. As a result it’s important to have locally targeted campaigns that capture the customer’s attention and provide them with what they want and need. Personalisation is key so, knowing what they have bought previously and when, and using this information to serve up content that’s relevant and valuable to them.
When looking at your ad campaigns, full integration is key. Not only between offline and online but between devices themselves. People don’t just use one device when researching and purchasing, we now live in a multiscreen world and our campaigns need to adapt. Consistent messaging across devices will see an uplift in performance as customers will have a better experience with your brand and company.
The mobile site and its importance
Having a mobile site is not a nice to have, but a necessity and we have seen Australian retailers get on board in the last year with now 63% of Australian retailers having a mobile site compared to 52% in 2013* (The 2013 Australian Benchmarking Study for Online and Multichannel Retail)
But what type of mobile site should you build? What will be best for not only your business but also your customers?
Separate mobile site
Creating a separate desktop and mobile site means you now have two sites to maintain. A good solution as it means you don’t need to amend your CMS yet the disadvantages is that there will be less content on the mobile site, you require SEO for two sites and your mobile site ranking will be zero when you launch. From a reporting side of things, you will need to view both your mobile site and desktop results and combine to gain a full understanding of what’s happening for your business. As you can see, this gets a little messy and time consuming.
Responsive design, however, does away with a lot of the above issues. Not only is it one site with one URL, but it means you can have all the same content that’s on your desktop on your mobile. Reporting doesn’t get complicated and your SEO efforts benefit all devices.
Australian companies (retailers, ecommerce companies) are making headway in mobile as they understand what their customers want and what they want is mobile. Mobile is now a necessity and needs to form part of any campaign and strategy to ensure success.