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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : March 06, 2019

Expert: Why merchants must improve the mcommerce experience

Mobile has become a driving force for many retailers, as the last holiday shopping season has shown, but many continue to struggle with the overall mobile experience. This experience will be key for merchants moving forward, which makes now the time for retailers and brands to focus in on the mobile experience.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: There's been a lot of momentum behind mobile commerce. Why do you think that is?

Nancy Hua, CTO & Co-Founder, Apptimize: Customers are moving to mobile. Pure and simple. As recently as 4-5 years ago, customers browsed on mobile but didn't really buy there. We're now really seeing that trend changing. Now customers are on mobile throughout the entire buying cycle from consideration to repeat purchase. 

Kristina: What do companies need to know about how mobile shopping is different than the online shopping experience? 

Nancy: Customers want to do different things in different contexts. Most customers who are shopping on mobile are searching in bed, in front of a TV, or on the go (possibly in your store). Their attention spans in these contexts are very short and the screen sizes are very small. Retail brands need to think about how to provide the best possible experience within those constraints. And the best solutions are not necessarily broadly known. Companies need to try out new ideas and iterate quickly to find the optimal solution for their customers.

Kristina: What common issues do retailers want to address when it comes to their mobile apps and mobile web pages?

Nancy: The biggest thing retailers are struggling with is connecting the user experience between the native mobile experience and the mobile web experience. Typically, the new customers will see a mobile web experience, either in their phone browser or in the Facebook or Instagram browser. These are highly targeted experiences that are focused on customer acquisition. What most brands really want to do is turn that first-time or occasional customer into a frequent buyer. To do this, brands really want to push customers to download the native mobile app. Customers are more likely to think of your brand the next time they want to make a purchase if your app has made the cut to be installed on their phone. The question is how to bridge the mobile web to mobile native experience while tailoring each experience to address what customers want to do in that channel. Great customer experiences are how retail brands will stand a chance of competing with Amazon. After all, you can't win against Amazon on price so you really need to be thinking about every way to improve the customer experience in stores and online.

Kristina: How does the mobile experience overlap with and affect brick-and-mortar?

Nancy: Mobile, web and brick-and-mortar have a real intersectionality. They constantly affect each other because any single shopper will jump around between the three between sessions and often even in the middle of a single purchase. Mobile is particularly interesting because it's.... well... mobile. Many customers are looking at your app while shopping, maybe to find a coupon or look for the aisle number or comparing items/prices. Customers are also on competitors' apps and websites while in your store and vice versa. 

Tags: Apptimize, ecommerce, m:commerc experience, m:Commerce, mobile marketing, mobile shopping

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