To offer the customer a good mobile shopping experience is essential for any e-retailer that want to defend and improve their marketshare.
Mobile apps have become a major source of income for both traditional e-retailers and high street chains. Mobile already often capture more than 50% of all transactions and user interactions – so it’s easy to see why the smartphone has become the platform of choice for many customers as well as retailers.
OUR CHECKLIST FOR GOING MOBILE WITH YOUR WEB SHOP
Here is our list of what we have identified as must-haves for mobile stores:
1. GET AN APP
Using an app for your mobile shop is the smart and future proof way of going mobile.
Having a responsive web is not enough when going mobile. Responsive web is a common way to go to save cost but the reasoning behind that is just plain wrong. From a user perspective an app is always preferred. From a customer acquisition, retention, conversion, cross sell, up sell and brand loyalty perspective an app is always preferred. From an omnichannel and bridging the gap between digital and physical store an app is the only option.
Since mobile typically will be your most important digital channel going forward you should not aim to minimize cost but maximize revenue. Just using push messaging alone will double the conversion in the mobile channel. Using a platform like Cogent will most likely not cost you more than building and maintaining a responsive web – instead it will save you money on operations etc.
2. LEVERAGE YOUR EXISTING INVESTMENTS
If you have already invested both time and money in getting a web shop up and running make sure you reuse that when going mobile.
Most modern e-commerce systems provide APIs to their storefront the can be used by the apps. The mobile channel (especially when using apps) is richer than the web in terms of features. For that reason you may want to extend the functionality provided by your existing e-commerce system down the road. We suggest however that you start with what you got to get up and running as quickly as possible. Every day that goes by without mobile presence you loose money.
3. TAKE TCO INTO ACCOUNT
A hard to accept fact is that you are never done developing your digital touch points. You constantly need to adapt to new customer requirements.
Ones you have the first version of your app available for customers, the work with the next version begins. Competitors will launch new features the customers will demand. You will want to change or add things to the app based on your customer’s behaviour. You have to make changes to support new platforms and OS updates. Now and then changes to the design have to be made to keep the app fresh and up to date. To go mobile with you web shop is not a project but a continuous work stream and you should budget accordingly.
4. LEARN FROM YOUR CUSTOMERS AND ENGAGE THEM
The more you learn about your customers the more you can tailor the experience and engage them.
Customer engagement is the key to success in today’s retail. The mobile platform is unique in the way that you as a retailer can initiate a conversation with the customer. This is done via push messages and they can be triggered by different events e.g. location, time, stock level etc. They can also target users ranging from all customers, subset of customers down to individual users. Use this and detailed analytics on user behaviour in the app to do controlled experiments on user groups and learn from the result.