Last week’s Mobile Shopping Summit was a thought provoking boutique conference that focused on the present and future of mobile commerce. Set in Palm Springs, many of the topics discussed, such as the migration to “mobile only”, sounded more like fast-shaping realities rather than the mirages that they once were.
There were several themes that ran throughout the conference as attendees got an opportunity to hear from many mobile commerce leaders from leading brands such as Zappos, Crayola, Walmart, Staples, JC Penney, and Crate & Barrel, about how to identify and solve mobile commerce challenges. Here are some of the top themes from the conference.
The Frictionless Experience –Aki Lida, the Head of Mobile at Zappos, kicked off the conference emphasizing the importance of great and relevant content delivered at the right time and with lightning speed. Zappos has had great success in this area and Lida provided insight on how his organization has improved user experience, especially on mobile devices. According to Lida, the goal for every eCommerce site should be to become “frictionless” for shopper investigation, research, and purchase.
The Engaging Experience – Creating a balanced and engaging experience across all digital channels is challenging, especially with the rapid growth of mobile shopping. During his presentation, Wilson Kriegel of PicsArt delivered an interesting statistic: Mobile users interact via their phones 2,600 times per day. While there probably will come a day when mobile is the primary or only eCommerce channel, online retailers need to immediately find a way to tap into the billions of mobile users to improve brand recognition and conversion rates.
The Omnichannel Bridge – As the line between in-store and online continue to blur, one thing has become evident: Mobile is the bridge between these two channels and will be the main driver to increase online conversions and revenue. Mobile allows eRetailers to connect digital and the store together to bring a seamless and value added shopping experience. This sentiment was just one of the many revelations that came out of the “Bricks vs Clicks” panel where we got to hear from the following mobile commerce experts:
- Katie Beckwith, Sr. Product Manager, Mobile & Personalization, Nordstrom
- Rima Huq; eCommerce Product Manager Crate & Barrel
- Matt Silk, Co-founder & Head of Strategy, Waterfall
For example, Beckwith detailed how Nordstrom’s has focused on mobile technology to help enhance the experience for its shoppers. In doing so, the brand has become a trusted shopping companion of sorts. Mobile technology gives Nordstrom’s shoppers awareness of inventory before arriving in-store or during the shopping experience, assists in finding inventory elsewhere, and enables them to purchase online and pick up in store. And this technology isn’t solely for shoppers. It’s also for sales associates in-store who can use it to provide inventory knowledge or order on behalf of mobile customers.
The Performance Dream – As stated very clearly by Gary Kazmer, General Manager of Global eCommerce for Crayola, fast page load speed is essential in order to engage and convert shoppers. However, today web performance is often ignored by many eTailers, especially when it comes to mobile devices. During the conference several speakers and tech companies talked about the challenges retailers face with mobile performance, with websites having grown by 67% in the last year and responsive web design making sites perform significantly slower on mobile. A key takeaway: All eCommerce brands should know their load times throughout the customer journey and how they compare with their main competitor(s). And you shouldn’t just measure the averages. You should measure performance at different times and figure out what is causing the peaks in bad performance.
2017 is set to be a big year for mobile shopping as more and more brands look to online and mobile channels to drive revenue growth. Brands that effectively address mobile challenges and solutions will be leading the innovation pack and will see big conversion rate improvements next year. Thanks to the 2016 Mobile Shopping Summit, we are all prepared to address these pressing mobile issues and bring the mobile shopping experience forward.
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