Both small merchants and large retailers know from experience that global e-commerce is huge, and still growing. Over the course of the last three years, online sellers have witnessed another powerful trend first-hand: the rapid rise of mobile commerce. The statistics corroborate what e-tailers are seeing from their own website analytics: more consumers worldwide are shopping and buying with their mobile devices every day. According to a report from the firm Research and Markets, global m-commerce will account for more than 50 percent of all online retail sales by 2021, up from approximately 34 percent in 2015 and only 5.2 percent in 2010.
As Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2017 quickly approach, it’s time to ask if your overall e-commerce strategy is ready to meet the growing demand. Have you implemented a mobile shopping platform, a global strategy, and marketing tactics to reach consumers who shop from the convenience of their mobile devices?
Here are some key elements to consider as you build – or review – your mobile strategy this holiday season:
Make Your Mobile Experience Unique.: Retailers are realizing the mobile shopping and buying experience needs to be unique and separate from websites. Creating a special app for your business is one approach, but even better is developing a mobile site to reflect the unique experience – and smaller screen – of a smartphone. The site needs to be easy to navigate, easy to read and fast.
Integrate Mobile into the Whole Business: Many brick-and-mortar retailers have begun to coordinate their mobile platform with the in-store shopping experience. This allows in-store customers to go online as they shop, learn more about products, scan barcodes to get specials and receive digital receipts.
Use Mobile Chat: Allowing shoppers to chat via their phone is an important way to engage customers and improve sales. Mobile location functions can allow location-based messaging and chat functions as well.
Get Your Shipping in Order: Like your website, your mobile site should make it easy for customers to understand your shipping policy. In this case, mobile location functions can help calculate shipping costs – though, for the holiday season, a free shipping and returns approach is increasingly the order of the day. Your shipping policy should be clearly explained during the checkout process – and can include specific instructions for international shoppers.
Make Your Mobile Strategy International: Mobile commerce is growing not just in the United States but around the world, so many of your potential customers may be located beyond our borders. In China, for instance, m-commerce already accounts for over half of all digital shopping. Your mobile site needs to work for international shoppers from a language and Customs perspective, and your shipping policy needs to account for the unique requirements of international shipping. Your website and mobile site should clearly explain possible duties that will be charged at the time of import, and how they can be applied.