Consumers are increasingly choosing to make purchases online, according to an eMarketer report. This report shows that retail e-commerce sales will outpace those of brick and mortar stores by more than three times through 2019. Similarly, Gartner reports that mobile commerce is currently driving 22 percent of digital revenue, a number that is expected to increase as shoppers continue to crave the convenience and immediacy mobile devices offer. Even the devices themselves are being shaped for purchasing power. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S7 has a big screen for easier digital store navigation, and the Samsung Pay feature acts as a digital wallet and allows for seamless in-store payments.
Regardless of whether or not your small business has a physical storefront, a smartphone sales strategy is imperative to stay competitive and fulfill your customers' needs. Here are some best practices to keep in mind to reach mobile shoppers more efficiently.
Implement Responsive Design
Your customers are diverse, which means their devices are, too. Whether they use tablets, phablets or the smallest smartphone on the market, your website and products should be easily visible with every swipe they take. Having to pinch and zoom in to see your inventory causes frustration, and if shoppers can't find the solution they need on your site, they'll leave.
Kissmetrics reports that 79 percent of shoppers who are dissatisfied with a website are less likely to purchase from the site again, and 40 percent of web visitors will leave a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Your site should load quickly and perfectly on every device to keep customers' attention and improve sentiment for your brand.
Optimize Your Products for Search
A study by GE Capital found that 81 percent of shoppers conduct research online before visiting a store. For major purchases, they spend an average of 79 days researching before buying. This means that even if shoppers don't purchase anything on your website or take months to decide, your business needs to appear in the search results for what they're researching.
Optimize every single product page with keyword-rich descriptions. Create content throughout your website with the intention of helping potential and current customers solve their pain points. Broken links, pages that are slow to load and content that doesn't match up with the URL should be removed or corrected. In 2015, Google announced that mobile-friendly websites will be positively affected in mobile search results, which reinforces the importance of responsive design.
Protect Your Customers' Payment Information
As Target learned the hard way in 2015 when the company settled a lawsuit for $10 million after a data breach, there is more at stake than just a substantial monetary pay-out if your business is hacked. Consumers lose trust and your business reputation is tarnished. Having to pay victims because of a data breach could be enough to bankrupt many small businesses.
Use industry-grade encryption methods to ensure a safe transaction for your mobile shoppers. Personal data should not be stored by your company. Use a security company to monitor your business transactions and alert you to any problems. Require your employees and customers to use strong passwords to add an extra layer of security.
From security to website design, just like in a physical store, you must prioritize your customers' needs to create a pleasurable shopping experience that keeps them coming back. By using search-friendly techniques to get your business in front of potential customers, you can convert them to loyal customers with a friendly user experience throughout your e-commerce platform.