Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Khawar Zaman who is an e-commerce consultant
Ever wondered how many mobile phones have been sold? What about the total number of PCs sold? This year is likely to go down in history when the 20 billionth mobile phone and 5 billionth PC could be sold. Sounds unlikely? You better believe it when Benedict Evans is saying so.
Some time next year, the 20 billionth mobile phone and 5 billionth PC will be sold.
— Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) July 26, 2015
But what does this data tell you? It’s that the growth of the mobile industry is significantly faster than the growth of PC industry.
Remarkably, the growth rate of mobile commerce has also baffled many industry experts. How? Well, according to a BI Intelligence report, m-commerce is expected to constitute about 45% of total e-commerce volume by 2020, which makes $284 billion in sales.
And this is approximately 3 times more than what’s expected for 2016, i.e. roughly 20.6 percent of the total e-commerce share for this year, or $79 billion.
Now, does this piece of information also tell you something? Of course, it does; it tells you to make hay while the sun shines.
It encourages you to roll up your sleeves and get on the m-commerce bandwagon to claim your share of fame and fortune. So why not get a mobile site optimized and ready to cater shoppers on the go.
However, there are certain mistakes that e-commerce merchants tend to make while dealing with mobile commerce. You better avoid them if you want to make the most of your m-commerce venture. But the question is, what are they exactly, and how can you fix them?
Below I have listed the top five mistakes here with their best fixes.
Mistake 1: Inability to identify your real users
Taking care of usability concerns is great when you are designing your mobile strategy, but missing out on identifying who your real users will be, is no less than a disaster.
Sure, one of the basic requisites of becoming a part of the m-commerce world is having a site capable of working well on a smartphone or tablet. But equally important is to consider who your real customers will be and how they will be using your site.
Best fix: Study the main profiles of your expected smartphone customers – what and how they prefer shopping, which devices they prefer to visit your site on, and what they want to get the most when they visit your site. Only with such information about them will you be able to design and offer the best m-commerce experience for them, capable of catering to their specific requirements.
Mistake 2: Designing identically for smartphones and tablets
One of the biggest mistakes capable of ruining your whole e-commerce experience is to design identically for smartphones and tablets. Whether it’s a native app or a responsive design for your e-shop, make sure you treat smartphones and tablets differently as a retailer.
Though the difference is subtle, but it’s significant when it comes to its impact on you as a retailer. Sounds unlikely? Have a look at this graph published by BI Intelligence report, according to which tablet users constitute a greater proportion of e-orders compared to mobile phone users.
So, you better be able to differentiate between both mediums, offering your users the tailored experiences for both the mediums respectively. Mobile phone users intend to make buying decisions on the go, while tablet users anticipate for a rich media experience comprising of videos and other more interactive options.
Best fix: You must design separately for smartphone and tablet users. Smartphone users are a little short on time, so offer them a simple and direct design, capable of fulfilling their ultimate need quickly and conveniently. Whereas, tablet users are more likely to respond positively to an experience enriched with bells and whistles; for instance, by adding fun and interactive videos, for starters.
Mistake 3: Overcomplicating the checkout process
Simplicity rules anywhere, but more so when it comes to the e-commerce experience. Most of you are already aware of the high percentage of shopping cart abandonment, i.e. people abandoning sales without making a payment due to a host of factors. But, I bet only a little (if any) of you are aware that 84% of US online shoppers are expected to abandon due to complicated online checkouts. Yes, a whopping 84%, according to a report published on PCA Predict
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Best fix: Aim for a simple checkout process with large prominent buttons and easy to type-in fields. Avoid cluttering the checkout page with unnecessary categories and links. You don’t have to lose a prospective customer at the very last moment just for the sake of fancy design or any other unwanted diversion.
Mistake 4: security
Best fix: According to a test result published by GetElastic, the sales of a site increased 4-6% after they placed a security badge on the page. However, there are also some studies that show a decrease in sales after using such logos. So, you better test the badge style and placement before making a final decision.
Mistake 5: Inability to keep up with consumer needs and new technologies
You didn’t have a mobile friendly online presence, so you got one and now you are expecting to live happily ever after? Reality check: technology changes way faster than you could ever imagine, just like consumer behavior and user expectations. Having a mobile friendly e-commerce platform is merely the first step in the right direction. If you fail to comply with changing consumer needs and improving technologies, your chances of succeeding in your e-commerce venture are next to none.
Best fix: Don’t get lost amongst the plethora of technologies available for mobile websites nowadays, following the latest trends blindly. You have to be highly vigilant in choosing the technologies really worth investing in for your specific needs and wants. You should focus on improving the user experience, which can be done best by analyzing and observing the behavior of customers on your site.
What’s your take on this?
Well, this is only how I think you can add value to your e-commerce experience. But, we would surely appreciate your take on this; what are your observations and experiences in this regard? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
About the author
Khawar Zaman is an e-commerce consultant, having expertise in developing e-commerce solutions, sales and internet marketing strategies. He is the co-founder of Technorian.com, a WooCommerce and Magento support specialist company, which also specialize in providing dedicated developers to start-ups