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Get Mobile Ready This Holiday Season – A ChannelAdvisor Guide

Shoppers have long loved using their devices to browse, but traditionally the buying would happen on the seemingly safer desktop PC. No more.

In 2016 it was reported that on the busiest day of the Christmas shopping period, more than 2.7 million people visited eBay alone, with 1.7 million users visiting through mobile devices. That was 11 percent above the same time as the previous year, when mobile officially overtook desktop activity for the first time. It’s predicted that Australian consumers will spend 2.8% more on Christmas this year, compared to 2016, according to Roy Morgan Research and The Australian Retailers Association (ARA). IBIS reports that online shopping is anticipated to enjoy annualised revenue growth of 9.4% over the Christmas period.

While some retailers and brands are rising to the mobile challenge – many more are missing out by continuing to offer shoppers an underwhelming mobile experience. There’s still time to ring in the changes – mobile-wise – in time for the festive season – here’s what you need to know.

Recognise the need for speed

It used to be every digital marketer’s dream to keep customers onsite and engaged for the longest time. Mobile has disrupted this model. Mobile buyers don’t have that level of patience, so you need to value their time by offering them an efficient and fast user experience.

Google recommend above the fold content should render in under one second – use a tool like webpagetest.org to check this out – and for guidance on how to improve speed.

Offer an efficient way to pay

One-touch is the key when it comes to payment. Think Apple Wallet, Android Pay, PayPal and other mobile payment systems – if consumers can’t pay for items quickly and simply – they’ll leave and shop somewhere they can.

Buyers have also indicated that they want new ways to pay on mobile. New research by Visa and undertaken by YouGov shows that more than half of Australians would prefer to use fingerprints, voice, or retina scans over PIN codes when making payments, and some are even ready for artificial intelligence. If you can meet consumer demands sooner rather than later – it could be a game-changer.

Social is mobile 

The typical customer journey starts on a search engine like Google or marketplace like eBay on desktop, but it’s far more likely to begin on a social media home screen or messaging app when it comes to mobile. In fact, a reported 77% prefer to sign in to e-commerce sites via their social media account. And many have indicated they’d be happy to buy via Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.

Facebook made over $7 billion in paid for advertising revenue last year, 80% of which came from mobile – so it looks like it’s working. Access Facebook’s immense audience by using Carousel ads for customer acquisition and Dynamic Ads to help you re-engage with past customers.

Messaging apps offer you another way to communicate with a potential audience of billions. Think Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp – connect one-on-one with users giving them answers to questions in real time.

Align your mobile strategy with marketplaces

It’s important to remember that marketplaces are highly geared towards mobile. Rather than spending time and money on a mobile app for your brand you could instead focus your mobile efforts on integrating your products with marketplaces like Catch, Amazon and eBay.

They have a readymade mobile audience plus an app functionality that’s seamless, along with integrated secure mobile payments systems. To optimise your presence on marketplaces, make sure you use dynamic images, compelling headlines and descriptive copy for your products since these are paramount for mobile shoppers. Use all available marketplace promotions to give you extra valuable mobile screen space.

Mobile – where the physical and online converge

According to Google, 82% of smartphone users access their phone in-store to help them make a purchase decision. Google’s local inventory ads enable you to show local shoppers your in-store availability for the items they’re looking for as they actively search on Google, driving foot traffic. Connect customer movement and data behaviour with other data about them – or link to past purchases and web visits to see the correlation between who’s buying what on your website compared with your store.

We hope you enjoy a successful e-commerce Christmas – especially on mobile. If you’d like a friendly chat about how to optimise digital marketing activity across all your channels in the run-up to the holiday season – and beyond –  drop our team a line at ausales@channeladvisor.com or simply request a demo and one of our team of e-commerce experts will be in touch.