mobile-friendly-shopping

The number of people browsing the Internet and making purchases through their mobile devices continues to climb in 2015. The increase in mobile commerce (mCommerce) mirrors the continued rise in smartphone use in America. According to a study from Pew Research, nearly two-thirds of Americans now own smartphones, and 19% of Americans rely on their smartphone for online access

So now the question is: How can marketers and business owners give mobile savvy shoppers the experience – and the goods – they’re looking for in order to capitalize on this mCommerce traffic?

You are more likely to capture more mobile consumers this holiday season with these latest mCommerce trends – and that can make your 2015 that much more successful and profitable.

The Rise of Micro Moments

The latest shopping trend news from Google is that “shopping will happen in moments, not marathons, this holiday season.” Meaning that instead of taking daylong “destination shopping” trips to malls and other retailers, “shoppers will be turning to their mobile phones in hundreds of micro-moments, every day, all season long.”

In this same article, Google reports that:

  • 30% of all online shopping purchases happen via mobile phones
  • 54% of holiday shoppers plan to shop on their smartphones whenever they get a chance throughout the day, like when they’re walking or commuting

Streamlining your marketing strategy to capture mobile users in those micro-moments is going to be crucial. First order of business, make sure your website is mobile friendly, meaning it’s coded in such a way that it will respond to and be optimized for whatever size device the site is accessed through (like smartphones and tablets). Then, make sure your mobile checkout process is smooth, painless, and can be completed in as few steps as possible.

For businesses with branded apps, you can get your app ready by taking care of any bugs, submitting new features to the App Store, and making sure your app is capturing user information for retargeting opportunities, mobile campaigns, or email campaigns.

Informed Purchases

Shopping via smartphone does not necessarily mean people are making more impulse buys. Shoppers are doing their research and using their smartphones throughout all parts of the shopping process, from gift ideas to research and then for the final purchase.

According to Google, “Shopping-related searches on mobile have grown more than 120% year-over-year.”

One major platform shoppers are turning to for gift ideas, product reviews, and user guides is YouTube. In this same article about holiday mCommerce trends, Google says that 64% of consumers who view videos on their smartphone would prefer to watch a YouTube video to answer their product-related questions than to read a manual or call a customer service number.

Shoppers are also using mobile devices to do research while they are in stores. They do this for many reasons, including to make price comparisons, look for deals, and read product reviews. For brick and mortar businesses, access to the Internet while shopping has been a double-edged sword. On one hand, good reviews can help consumers make a decision and make a purchase. On the other hand, if they find the same item cheaper somewhere else, the store might lose the sale. That’s why businesses have had to get smart about offering Wi-Fi and use it to capture consumer info and reach out to shoppers. An article from Marketing Land about engaging mobile holiday shoppers reports that “shoppers who can sign on to local Wi-Fi tend to stay in stores longer, giving retailers more time to engage their target audience.”

When you’re thinking of your site’s user experience, think about the entire process from beginning to end. As shoppers are researching gift ideas and product reviews, have you made it as easy as possible for them to do their research? If you haven’t done this already, consider integrating one of Facebook’s social icons or including user reviews directly on landing pages.

Marketers should also have sophisticated retargeting campaigns in place to ensure that consumers are seeing your brand across multiple platforms. Businesses should be optimizing their sites and landing pages for search terms that catch people as they’re looking for specific gifts or ideas.

Social Media Shopping

YouTube isn’t the only social media channel shoppers are turning to. While Facebook has been catching impulse buys through ads for years, Pinterest and Instagram have introduced new retail-based features, too, making it even easier for consumers to purchase a product while they’re researching it.

Instagram now has a “Shop Now” button on their ads. The button allows users to purchase items on the spot. Pinterest features “Buyable Pins” with buy buttons consumers can use to get what they see. Pinterest’s new search feature also allows shoppers to search for products they are interested in and filter within a certain price range.

Savvy marketers will look for ways to harness these new ad options to help increase sales on social media this season. For Instagram, marketers will need to create visually engaging campaigns that catch impulse buyers while they are browsing. There’s no easy way to save pictures as they scroll by, so the purchase has to be made on the spot. For Pinterest, users can pin things to boards for later, meaning you have a chance to make the sale even after the initial impulse. (In our opinion, Pinterest does a better job of taking the user through the buyer journey from inspiration and research to final purchase.)

Don’t forget Facebook opportunities. Facebook beacon is going to be a great way for businesses to capture new fans and get shoppers’ attention while they are on site shopping in the store. Facebook’s location targeting will also be key. While shoppers are out and about within a certain radius of your store, Facebook beacon can detect their phones and send out a deal to them. This tool could be huge for driving traffic through the door.
Overall, businesses who take mobile sales and mobile shopping trends into consideration this holiday season will see an increase in mobile search traffic and mobile sales. Businesses should be paying attention to these usage trends to ensure that their apps and mobile campaigns are catching users and increasing sales.