Mobile devices will account for 30 percent of global retail e-commerce spending by 2018, up from 15 percent in 2013. Obviously, mobile is playing an increasingly important role in commerce, but mobile isn’t simply the point-of-purchase endgame. People are also using mobile to research, browse and transact with retailers online. Within their shopping journey, consumers may reference multiple devices (both mobile and traditional) across multiple moments.

Creating a seamless mobile experience for your e-commerce site requires recognizing when consumers are integrating mobile into their shopping journey and why.

Mobile as a vehicle for research

59% percent of U.S. smartphones and 65% of tablet owners have used their devices to research an item before purchasing it. “Research” can include making price/feature comparisons between similar items on the same site, or across different retail sites. It can also mean collecting consumer feedback directly on the retail site, at actual consumer research sites and across social media. In addition to the actual items consumers are shopping and researching, a 2014 Neilsen study indicated that up to 76% of consumers are using mobile devices to simply locate a store.

Some pointers on creating a seamless mobile experience for e-commerce when it comes to research:

  1. Use store locator software to promote mobile visibility
  2. Offer identical cross-channel pricing
  3. Integrate responsive design for easy toggling between pages and products

Mobile as a method of transacting

“Transacting” online includes a variety of things—from inputting payment information to redeeming a coupon to responding to what shipping method a shopper would like to use. Consumers who arrive at checkout to find the experience is anything but intuitive, are very likely to leave empty-handed. Accepting mobile payments is just one-way retailers are meeting on-the-go, cross-platform consumer expectation for a seamless mobile experience. In fact, mobile payments are revolutionizing how consumers spend online, and 50% of current smartphone users say they will use their mobile wallets for daily transactions as early as 2016.

Additional pointers on creating a seamless mobile experience for e-commerce when it comes to transacting:

  1. Allow easy access to and redemption of mobile coupons (80% of shoppers said their perception of a retailer would improve if the retailer offered mobile deals and coupons.)
  2. Promote an easy checkout experience (via responsive design, asking only for essential information, no redirects)
  3. Ensure a shopper’s ability to begin a shopping journey on one device and complete it on another

Mobile as a method of socializing

A full 80% of mobile users’ purchasing decisions are influenced by the mobile channel, even though they may not use their devices to complete the final purchase. A key influencer in the cross-platform retail shopping-journey is social media. In fact, 26% of smartphone shoppers comment on their purchases using social media post-purchase.

Additional pointers on creating a seamless mobile experience for e-commerce when it comes to social media:

  1. Leverage tools that allow you to manage marketing campaigns across social media channels and devices
  2. Use social media to capture data and discover relevant audiences
  3. Adopt social media analyzing and reporting tools to optimize results

Creating a seamless mobile experience means embracing not only mobile and the optimization practices that come with it—it means understanding just where mobile access is fitting into the buying journey, how people are using it, and why.

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