We’re fast approaching the most hectic time of year for retailers worldwide: the peak period. November and December mark a major upturn in shopping activity, sales and deliveries – in 2017, UK retailers dispatched over 330 million orders in these months, and they accounted for approximately 24% of all online retail sales that year.
A key area online retailers need to focus on is mobile. Mobile traffic during the holiday shopping spree has consistently grown year-on-year, and it is a critical component of how online retailers will maximise 2018’s peak period. Recent research by Criteo shows 44% of online transactions in Europe are made using a mobile phone vs 55% in the UK.
Being More than ‘Mobile-Friendly’
Predictions suggest that in the 2018 holiday shopping peak, mobile devices will account for 68% of traffic, but only 46% of orders. While that is still a significant number of purchases taking place on mobile, it demonstrates a clear discrepancy in those that use mobile for browsing, and those that use mobile for buying.
In 2016, the difference between mobile and desktop traffic to online retailers was very close (41% vs. 50%), whiles sales volume was far more disparate (21% vs. 69%). So, e-commerce companies don’t need to simply make their websites functional on mobile, but make sure your website’s CRO strategy makes it is as secure, easy and effective to complete purchases on mobile as it is on desktop.
Maximising a Mobile-Focused Approach
There are several areas to consider to take advantage of ever-increasing mobile traffic and convert customers through their phones as much as through their desktops.
Firstly, it is important to optimise your mobile shopping experience with e-commerce in mind ahead of design. Both elements are important, but your first consideration should be the customer journey. If the process isn’t straightforward, you risk visitors abandoning the transaction altogether.
To optimise this, work on:
- Making your website responsive on mobile – be clear and concise, rather than cluttered with unnecessary design elements or images that slow down the load speed of your website and distract from the action you want them to take
- Introducing easy navigation and search functions to your mobile, making it simple for shoppers to find what they’re looking for immediately and reducing the steps from first interaction to checkout
- Placing your call-to-actions strategically – presenting clear, frequent CTAs on your homepage, product pages and more helps guide your customers quickly and easily to your mobile checkout, and not stopped by confusion about the next step
- Developing a dedicated shopping app – customers are considerably more likely to purchase through a focused app than through a website page
- Presenting automated discounts and dynamic pricing – this lets shoppers see reductions in prices and special offers they are entitled to by purchasing through mobile immediately
Promote Your Security
One of the biggest obstacles to overcome is long-held concerns that m-commerce is less trustworthy
You can boost shopper confidence by updating your privacy and security seals and displaying them clearly on your website, particularly during the checkout phase. Demonstrating your ability to safely handle transactions and keep personal information secure will increase the likelihood a purchase will be concluded and reduce basket abandonment.
Consider use of sending push notifications to existing customers, informing them of changes of price and stock for items they have previously demonstrated an interest in, or if they’ve left items in their basket to encourage them to conclude the transaction. Another idea is to present your customers with their preferred payment method – especially for a global audience, this can overcome any challenges of different currencies and cultural attitudes.
Also, by utilising a customer’s location through their phone, you have the ability to greater personalise the delivery of their products. Through this, you can notify them if they are eligible for free shipping (or how much they may need to spend to become eligible), and inform them of when they can expect to receive their items if they order now.
It is important to remember that an online retailer’s mobile feature is only one option in a wide variety of shopping opportunities for customers.
Research in the U.S. suggests that 82% of their smartphone users consult their phones on purchases they intend to make in store. Therefore, it is important your mobile experience corresponds with your in-store services. To maximise this, consider introducing elements like mobile-enabled in-store checkouts and mobile wallets to ease the process for customers when completing a purchase they found on their phone.
Its key for online retailers to address the problem of cart abandonment, which is prevalent among mobile shoppers. According to Barilliance, mobile shopping carts are the most likely to be abandoned with an 85.65% ditch rate, making it essential that the mobile checkout process is straightforward and does not interject extra costs for packaging or delivery (which accounts for 61% of incomplete transactions). Presenting cost-effective options for delivery from the outset will help reduce the significant cart abandonment rate.
In addition, consider introducing reactive emails or messages to shoppers to remind them that they did not complete their transaction on mobile. Adding a special offer or discount with this could encourage them to re-think finishing their purchase.
Make the Most of Mobile During Peak Season
The trend towards mobile-first shopping shows no sign of slowing, and now the focus for retailers is to optimise their customers’ experience on this to take full advantage of the ever-growing traffic.
On our website, we’ve covered the ways e-commerce businesses should approach peak period planning - check them out if you’re looking for ideas.
Alternatively, leave your comments below and get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these topics further, or if you would like to learn more about P2P’s dedicated international delivery options.