The e-commerce market has undergone significant growth in recent years, diversifying away from the traditional PC approach to include smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
But while hype surrounding the mobile channel is pronounced, the m-commerce movement is still very much in its infancy. And a plethora of opportunities exist which can help to significantly improve conversion rates – not least, site-search.
An Introduction to M-Commerce
Mobile commerce – better known as m-commerce – refers to the use of mobile devices to conduct transactions online. As a means to simplify the shopper experience, it delivers an anytime, anywhere paradigm and enables consumers to shop for products at their convenience.
The growth of m-commerce has become a hallmark of the wider e-commerce industry, demonstrated by a predictive study from Statista which states that by 2021, m-commerce sales will make up the majority (53.9%) of total US e-commerce sales.
But this shopper-proclivity for the mobile channel is not without its challenges, and for those who believe that, just because they're successful at e-commerce they'll be equally successful at m-commerce, are likely to come in for quite the shock.
For instance, a separate report from Statista found that those shopping via smartphone converted at just 1.56%, in comparison to traditional online shoppers who converted at a rate of 4.07%, and it's this conversion gap which begs the question: why are mobile shoppers so much less likely to complete a purchase?
Why the Conversion Gap?
Summarily, the reason that mobile fails to convert as well as traditional sources is because it's a medium far less well-established. And frankly, a lot of the time, the mobile shopping experience is pretty terrible.
Factors such as bad mobile site design, network latency, and lack of transaction-trust are routinely acknowledged by consumers as obstacles they have to encounter, but an oft-forgotten component is the role that poor navigation plays too.
Research from a Google-endorsed think-tank called Think with Google found that 3 in 4 smartphone owners turn to mobile search first to address their immediate needs. But that 91% of users will leave a mobile site or app if it doesn’t satisfy their needs.
In essence, to really take advantage of the mobile channel, and the numerous opportunities it offers to improve your bottom-line, you need to provide a mobile-first shopper experience.
While this can include the provision of a dedicated app and the demonstration of SSL certification, it should also take into consideration the necessity for site-search.
With a keen focus on providing your shoppers with a great search and navigation experience, not only will you provide an enhanced mobile shopping experience and keep shoppers engaged, but you will also improve your on-site conversion rate, as well as your bottom-line.
And with Think with Google also projecting that users who have a negative experience on mobile are 62% less likely to purchase from that retailer in the future, creating a streamlined site-search experience for shoppers is no longer an option, but a necessity.