Don’t get paralyzed by mobility: Embracing the rise of mCommerce

mobileWe as a species have evolved to have screens be a pretty central part of our lives; many of us use them for work, for communication, for entertainment, and even for consumerism. Sure, some of you out there may be “rebels” and have worked very hard to escape the screen-way-of-life, but the average person spends almost 7 hours staring into one or another each day. Our little pocket-friendly devices (mobiles) have a lot to do with how much time is spent. We have all seen it, done it, experienced it: being immersed in the vortex of the mobile device while walking, commuting, eating…you name it. So, what is the content that’s pulling people into their phones constantly? Definitely, communication (text, email, social media) plays a big part, as does reading an article or watching a video, but as marketers in the online world, we need to grasp the fact that a good chunk of mobile use goes towards browsing online stores, reading consumer reviews and comparing options. We purposely said “browsing” and not “shopping” in the previous sentence because the full purchase cycle consisting of browse, add-to-cart, and checkout are rarely all completed on a mobile device. In fact, Google reported that 85% of online shoppers start the purchase on a mobile and finish on a desktop. This spawns the question: why has mCommerce been lagging historically, and what is changing today?

The reason for the mCommerce lag could really be attributed to one major factor: the shopping experience was less than optimal, mainly due to small screen sizes. Consumers find it quite frustrating to read product details or enter payment information, resulting in abandoned carts far more often than a webstore would like. Other factors included slow internet speeds due to shabby LTE and WiFi networks, and general mobile security trust issues.

Today, however, technology has taken some big leaps. Most of the new mobiles out there are being produced with larger, more sensitive screens and mobile networks are more stable than ever. So, the onus for making mCommerce a profitable part of our online business now falls on us; we can no longer hide behind the shortcomings of tech. And seeing as Business Insider forecasts that mCommerce will account for 45% of the total US eCommerce market by 2020, it’s high time we took the steps to make our mobile shopping experiences more enjoyable. How to get started?

1) Optimize your content and text: Utilizing a responsively designed website isn’t enough – you need one that optimizes the screen space on any given device size, displaying the most important aspects of your offerings at first glance. Another thing to watch out for is your text size; best practices indicate that a mobile site’s text should be legible without having to zoom in. This means no cramming information…keep it clean, short, and relevant.

2) Optimize button surface area for clicking: There’s nothing more annoying than trying to click on a button on your mobile and it not taking you to where you intended. An MIT Touch Lab discovered that the average adult index finger is about 57 pixels in width and an average adult thumb is 72 pixels wide. Thus, making a button’s “clickability” at least 72 pixels can ensure that shoppers can easily press on it without having to reorient their fingers multiple times in order to hit its sweet spot.

3) Offer a one-click checkout option: Having to enter and re-enter your payment information from a small qwerty touch keyboard is highly frustrating. That’s why many leading online businesses are starting to offer the one-click checkout button. It does still require customers to enter payment information on their first visit/purchase, but subsequent purchases can become super quick and enjoyable with this option. To add some extra security, you can utilize some of the built-in authentication measures of phones today, like the iPhone fingerprint, or you can simply require a pin or passcode to go forward with payment processing. These precautions will give shoppers some peace-of-mind over their financial security and elicit more trust in your brand.

4) Offer mobile-friendly payment methods: Credit/debit cards, gift cards, and PayPal aren’t the only way of processing transactions anymore especially when the purchase is being made via a mobile device. With the surge of mobile wallets these days, it should be a no-brainer to include Apple Pay and Android Pay to your site’s payment options. These payment methods will allow shoppers to easily choose the account they want the transaction to be fulfilled by from their virtual wallet without the need to ever enter a card number or billing address. It would be as simple as if they swiped the card at a machine in a physical store.

These are just a few steps to make the troublesome parts of mCommerce smoother and faster. Of course, you should never constrain your customers on your mobile site, just in case they prefer to see additional product information that’s available on your desktop version. Always provide a “View desktop version” button on your site so shoppers can choose the experience they prefer. After all, one size doesn’t fit all!

DevicesFor websites interested in offering product personalization along with their current offering, Mediaclip offering a solution that is built responsively and is optimized for many different screen sizes. We strive to make the user experience enjoyable across devices, ensuring that the product designing process remains easy, intuitive and fast for your consumers. To find out how our product personalization solution can integrate with your desktop and mobile websites, please contact us for a demonstration.