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Guest Blogger

By Scott Cretton, key account manager, Trusted Shops

Online retailing has taken the retail sector by storm.  With a shift away from bricks to clicks, the pressure is on to perform across all channels. Consumers want to shop anywhere, anytime and from whichever device they please. Increasingly, this has become the smartphone, the one piece of technology that never leaves a shopper’s hands. In fact, the mobile sector brings in 1 in every 5 pounds spent and drives over 50 per cent of online traffic.

The shopping journey is getting increasingly complex. Shoppers browse an item instore, go home and ponder over it on their desktop or tablet and show their friend via their smartphone the following day. That’s all before purchasing the item either instore or online. With this in mind, successful retailers have been working to connect the dots to create a seamless experience, so shoppers can go from perusing to payment, all in one.

As a result, retailers are joining an arms race to provide the best possible mobile shopping experience. User experience and enjoyment is critical to the success of a mobile site. It needs to be as easy and efficient to navigate and optimised to reflect the same opportunities as if the consumer were browsing from a desktop. Otherwise, shoppers are likely to take their wallets elsewhere. According to Trusted Shops, there are five areas where retailers can overcome common mobile retail fails:

Finesse the forms

Filling out long forms can be off-putting for online shoppers. Especially those which are too long, have no pre-selected key-pads, include input fields that are too short and provide no filling in assistance. Particularly in mobile shops it’s important that forms are a reasonable length and demand only essential information. If the forms risks being longer than is ideal, there should be information which indicates in a percentage, how much has been completed, as well as auto-completion of sections like the address, to motivate the user to work through longer forms. Additionally, the latest HTML version also offers the possibility for smartphones to directly show the correct keypad. In this way the number pad will automatically show up when a telephone number is required. Other options include keypads for text, e-mail addresses or telephone numbers.

Erase the ads

Yet again, prolonging the purchasing path for shoppers is dangers. No consumer wants to wade through ads to make a sale or browse a page. They especially don’t want to arrive at a mobile store to be bombarded with notifications from the brand upselling their own mobile app rather than being taken straight to the products.  The website should also be mobile optimised so that users can avoid constant pop-ups asking whether they really do want to view the mobile site on the mobile device.

Familiarity is key

No matter how good the mobile site is, some people prefer the familiarly of the desktop version. For example, users who are searching for information on a product which you have possibly not included in the mobile version or those who struggle to navigate their way around the independent mobile version of
your shop as there are different categorisations to those used in the regular shop. To tackle this, offer these users greater freedom by
providing a link to the “normal” desktop version of your
online shop.

Get to the point

Mobile websites must be clear and concise when it comes to content. Mobile online shoppers want their questions on products to be answered quickly to avoid having to read or scroll over reams of text. If longer texts – such as blurbs for books – are really necessary, then show the complete text only after interaction with the visitor (e.g. following a click).

Lessen the lag

The age of consumer convenience has made shoppers more impatient. They have purposely shifted to online platforms to avoid lengthy queues in store and expect rapid service whether that’s during shopping or when selecting delivery. Even the smallest delay caused by slow page load speeds can cause customers to abandon their baskets at the final hurdle. While customers may be merciful the first time round, repeat sub-par experiences can lead to consumer dissatisfaction that can spread much further anticipated now that bad mouthing via social media platforms has become so common.

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