Top Tips to Prepare Your Apps for the Impending Holiday Shopping Spike
It has been some time now that people are taking to shop online on their smartphones. Smartphones are essentially the one stop shops for all the shopping needs that you could think of. September is here already, and it is almost time for some good old cheer and festivities which means that there is going to be a whole lot of people on your mobile app just waiting to put all kinds of amazing goodies in their chopping carts.
Holidays are the time when all the retailers are competing with each other while bending over backwards to please and entice prospective customers. It is only natural that the brands who pay attention to their mobile presence are the ones that would have a definitive edge over those who ignore to do so. According to a recent study by Forrester sometime this year, more than a third of the total U.S. retail sales would be credited to smartphones. In fact, mobile devices are steadily catching up and are bound to take over any browser or computer-based shopping. It is no surprise that consumers today prefer to opt for the convenience that is afforded by a mobile phone and it is important that as a business owner you are aware of the significant impact it is eventually going to have on the revenue you are going to gather. It was only evident on Black Friday last year that not only did the mobile devices drove greater traffic but also exhibited a much greater conversion rates as compared to previous years by about 71%. The conversion rates for desktops and tablets, however, remained flat.
In spite of mobile platform gaining popularity as a preferred mode of shopping among the customers, there is still a lot that needs to be taken care of, in order to transform it into a strong retail platform. There are, in fact quite a few challenges that have been earmarked for the retailers that they need to overcome to up their mobile experience. One of the biggest challenges to emerge first, is the massive diversity of devices that need to be catered to, and this issue only gets more complex when you are considering it on an international scale. Also, users on mobile devices also unfortunately have the highest bounce rates! Now, if the mobile devices were to fail in responding quickly or lacking in ease of use, it would amount to customer frustration, making the bounce rate even worse for you.
Now, if you are a business owner all set to leverage their mobile platform this holiday season, it would do you well to make some changes to your mobile properties and Black Friday is just around the corner.
1. Know Your Market
There is a basic difference in the way a mobile user would interact with their device, as compared to the desktop or tablet users. The mobile users generally interact with their devices in short, multiple bursts in contrast to the desktop or tablet users who might prefer long periods of engagement. This is why speed and performance of the app are of prime importance when it comes to building mobile user experiences that are positive.
In order to overcome this challenge, the retail IT teams and developers must ensure that the major mobile optimization strategies that work for their business the best are suitably implemented. Some of the factors that need to be looked into here include – page & image size, customizing delivery according to the receiving device, location, and connectivity. When combined together, these factors ensure that the users have a smooth sailing experience with your mobile properties.
2. Alleviate User Frustrations
The set-up of infrastructure and the back end for an experience that is optimized for mobile devices, is only a part of the whole process. It is important that you stay alert and ensure that things are working exactly as they are supposed to. This can be accomplished through constant monitoring of the content that is being delivered on mobile devices.
When you establish a practice of looking into the end-user experiences frequently, you stand to steer clear of any measure of user frustrations by staying on top of the things that going well for you and more importantly, the things that are not going so well. The development team at your place of business, must be able to see what the end users are seeing or experiencing on their mobile devices, so that they can troubleshoot in real time before it can have any sizable negative impact on the revenue.
The mobile app development teams must keep an eye on the way certain processes are performing, and the kind of experience the users are enjoying with them. This enables them to receive micro-insights into the reasons behind any roadblocks or bottlenecks and the resultant impact on user behavior and their buying patterns. Once they have a simulated users’ perspective at their disposal, they are enabled in prioritizing the tasks that need to be optimized on the basis of the business impact to cast a positive impact on the revenue.
3. Cater to All Possible Devices
There is actually a huge range of mobile devices that are being used by the global consumers collectively. Now, the developers and the businesses who intend to up their mobile game need to consider the massive differences between Android & iOS devices, but also the differences between multiple Android App Builder deployments. Inherently, Android as a platform is more open than iOS, which means that there are at least a dozen different versions of the operating system that are in use, simultaneously all over the world.
Every Android device has only but a slight difference in terms of some of the most critical parameters like the screen size, resolution, processing power, RAM, connectivity, storage, and many such other factors in the world over. As the holiday shopping season is gaining a more global appeal, the retailers need to be aware of these considerations before they can be mobile ready for the new global shoppers.
4. Being Omnichannel is the Only Way to Be
Internet is getting more sophisticated, popular, and mobile browsing is particularly gaining a huge measure of popularity. Not many people just walk in to a store and pick what they like. More and more customers today are adopting an omnichannel approach when it comes to shopping, which means that they are walking through your store right now with a phone in hand that they are going to use to compare prices and look for alternatives. It is therefore important that you as a new age retailer are ready to offer this multichannel or omnichannel (best-case scenario) experience for the customers while ensuring a seamless and silky-smooth integration across mobile, desktop and in-store platforms.
5. Add Value to Checking Out
Now, the final, and probably one of the most crucial parts of the mobile shopping experience for the users is to make it easy for the customers to convert the browsing time into a sale. The primarily attractive feature about shopping on mobile devices is the convenience and ease of use it brings with it, hence it is important that the checkout features are designed especially for people on the go.
Starbucks with their “Skip the Line” or “Mobile Order” features are a great example of how mobile devices can be leveraged to enhance something that might seem like a simple operation to you.
It is evident that mobile experiences are critical to the future of digital retail, hence the businesses who are planning to do something big this holiday season must up their mobile game and make sure that all their offerings are easily available to their users or prospective customers. It is true that there would be a lot of challenges that would present themselves in this journey but overcoming them is not an impossible task if handled with proper planning and some time in hand.