Dialing in on Mobile Site Abandonment

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Site AbandonmentOver the past few years, smartphones have become fully integrated into the average person’s daily life. While keeping us connected to friends and giving us instant access to nagging trivia questions, mobile devices keep us close to a thriving online marketplace – putting your company’s online storefront constantly within arm’s reach. Let’s take a look at the trends in the exciting mobile e-commerce market and what your company can do to reduce mobile site abandonment.

The Billion Dollar Black Friday
While the home computer is still the central hub of e-commerce, the convenience of mobile devices is making itself known in force–just over 19% of all American adults have made a purchase via their mobile phones in the last year.  November 23rd, 2012, known as Black Friday, marked the first point in history in which over a billion dollars were spent online in a single day.  A look at the channels through which this money was spent illustrates the power of mobile commerce. In just one year, retail traffic generated from mobile devices increased over 60% and is expected to grow stronger with each coming year.

Mobile Site Abandonment

Source: IBM 2012 Holiday Benchmark Reports
Whether people are using mobile devices simply to research products or make a purchase, the fact is that these mobile consumers are interested in looking at your products while on the go.  The great news for companies is that when these savvy browsers make a purchase, they aren’t just spending small amounts on knick-knacks: The average dollar value of a mobile purchase is within 5% of those made from a home computer.

There’s no question that mobile shopping is making big waves in e-commerce, but it doesn’t come without its own set of complications.  Mobile commerce suffers from a problem that all online retailers struggle with today: site abandonment.  Shoppers using mobile devices, moreso than any other medium, tend to place items into their online shopping cart only to close the browser or exit the page, leaving the items unpurchased.  There are a few accepted theories as to why this trend is so prevalent among smartphone- and tablet-using consumers:

  • People perceive purchases made on a home computer as more secure. Oftentimes, just before checkout is complete, a consumer will switch to a laptop or desktop to finish the sale, artificially inflating the site abandonment rate among mobile devices.
  • Shoppers use their devices as researching tools to guide their in-store purchases.
  • A phone can be placed back in your pocket just as easily as it can be retrieved.  Without any real urgency or commitment, consumers can more easily delay a purchase, ‘cool off,’ then reconsider the purchase at a later time.

Reducing Mobile Site Abandonment
So, what can you do as a business to reduce mobile site abandonment?  The following tips can help your business capitalize on this growing segment, close sales more effectively, and gain an edge on other digital retailers.

  • Don’t Log-in to Checkout — Mobile shopping is as much about expedience as it is about convenience.  If you’ve used a touchscreen before, then you know that our fingers don’t always press the keys we want–and that can be maddening.  Requiring a user to create an account before making a purchase will force the potential customer to input a swath of information while switching between Internet browsers and e-mail applications. It’s time to drop these dated techniques and allow for guest checkout.  If the user doesn’t need to tap their way around clumsy forms and fields, they can focus on inputting the important data, such as email and billing information, quickly navigating through the process and to the all-important sale.
  • Format for the Occasion — A staggeringly low 35% of companies employ the use of emails properly formatted for mobile devices.  With highly segmented, intelligent data collection, you’ll be able to determine the type of device used to access your website and send an appropriately displayed email to a consumer.  By placing a professional-looking remarketing email in a user’s inbox, you’ll maximize your chances of retrieving a previously abandoned cart. Making the consumer confident in your business is paramount–an email remarketing campaign with the perfect format is a great way to impress.
  • Remarket, Revive, and Reward — Utilizing pre-submit lead collection technology allows you to reduce mobile site abandonment by recovering abandoned shoppers with a mobile-optimized email remarking campaign. With a properly formatted email, businesses can now recover mobile shoppers who began, but never completed a purchase. By reaching out to an abandoning customer, you can attempt to sweeten the deal by awarding a coupon and revive the sale, turning lost carts into profits.

With each year, the amount of data streamed to and from mobile devices increases exponentially.  In an era in which smartphone sales are surpassing PCs of all shapes and sizes, mobile commerce is going to quickly become the staging ground for the biggest and best sales.  Adapting new strategies and email remarketing techniques can help you craft an effective and customized user experience that converts site traffic into sales.

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