Optimize Your Customers Ecommerce-to-Mobile Experience

Scale your mobile initiatives to make sense with your ecommerce customersMobile commerce has been the hot topic in retail lately.  Marketers recognize that m-commerce represents an additional opportunity to grab a larger share of the consumer wallet.  Brands have been rapidly adding smartphone-compatible commerce sites for consumers to buy their products on the go.  Unfortunately for those retailers out there with a mobile site – just having it isn’t enough.

Here’s the problem:

Many retailers have designed their mobile sites assuming that navigation begins at the home page.  In reality, shoppers are being driven to pages other than the homepage through Google searches, Twitter, Facebook, and links shared between friends.  Unfortunately, many of these links are not compatible with mobile sites.

If a consumer is enticed to check out a link sent from a friend, only to be redirected to the homepage of a mobile site (therefore losing their place and/or having to search all over again), they will likely become very frustrated. Because customer experience is a reflection on the brand itself, this isn’t a good practice for ecommerce retailers – especially as consumer behavior continues to shift more toward mobile and away from online.  Smart phones are on pace to outsell PCs in 2011, a trend that is unlikely to reverse.  Brands need to address their mobile site issues before they deter customers from coming back.

What’s the solution?

Retailers should build their mobile sites on the m-dot domain structure (for example, m.brand.com).  This allows consumers to be re-directed from an ecommerce page to a mobile compatible landing page when shopping from a phone. Putting a site search function on the pages, as well as easy navigation to other areas of the site, is a must. More importantly, it will decrease consumer frustration and increase the likelihood of a conversion! And best of all, by using specific landing pages for your smartphone users, you can track the success of your mobile marketing campaigns better than through the traditional ecommerce site.

All a retailer needs to do is create several of these optimized landing pages and tie them to each campaign. As mobile continues to become a viable sales channel, strategies will develop – but if you’re going to get started in m-commerce, you should start the campaign out the right way from the beginning.