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GUEST COMMENT Making CX a priority for mobile

Mobile commerce is becoming increasingly popular. The channel accounted for two thirds of e-commerce traffic over Christmas 2018 – a 13% increase in one year alone.

This huge growth is being driven by the convenience and 24/7 access that online shopping offers. However, in such a flourishing market it’s possible for sales to come too easily. This leaves many brands neglecting basic retail principles such as great customer experience (CX).

Research shows that online customer experience has a huge impact in terms of brand loyalty, conversion rates and sales. For this reason, retailers need to focus on creating a positive mobile CX – providing customers with an enjoyable and simple buying journey.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, one retailer leading the way in this respect is Amazon. Features such as ‘one-click ordering’, which saves consumers’ time and effort at the checkout, and well-targeted product suggestions that effectively entice and engage shoppers, are just a few ways the brand delivers a strong customer experience.

However, our recent research report found that there are still a number of brands that are failing to prioritise CX and instead are letting their standards stagnate. For example, almost a fifth of retailers are failing to optimise their search functions and two thirds of businesses are not making use of live chats. Worryingly, this is a decline on last year’s figures. So, how can retailers rectify the issue?

From adopting simple search features to creating a seamless payment journey, there are a number of tactics that can be incorporated to boost digital customer experience.

With this in mind, let’s explore ways retailers can ensure their mobile presence offers customers the best shopping experience possible and why this needs to be a priority throughout 2019.

Effective search functions


One of the most common roadblocks that customers face while shopping on mobile is being unable to find what they need – whether products or information such as contact details. This worsens CX, leaving shoppers feeling frustrated and leaving them more likely to shop elsewhere.

So, how can retailers address this issue?

  • Design effective search features –brands should ensure search platforms include autocomplete, well-targeted product suggestions or relevant recommendations to enable shoppers to locate what they want quickly and easily.Also, search tabs should be made clearly visible on all pages of a website.
  • Provide 24/7 assistance –retailers must utilise live chat or virtual assistant services. This will help provide shoppers with any extra information or guidance, should they require it. What’s more, studies show that incorporating this “humanising” aspect into a mobile brand – which provides customers with instant responses to their queries – can boost conversion rates by as much as 40%.

Given that shoppers using search functionality are likely to have higher intent to buy, adding these additional search improvements specifically targets the users that are most likely to commit to purchase. Therefore, providing these “warm” customers with what they want or need at the right time can prove crucial.

Ease of purchase

As well as optimising search functions, it is equally important that retailers create a simple and streamlined payment journey. There are two key aspects that need to be addressed when doing this – the time it takes to check out and the ease of doing so. Worryingly, our research found that currently 67% of retailers are over complicating this journey by forcing shoppers to create an account before checking out. This extra hurdle alone could be costing retailers dearly in missed sales.

So, what can retailers do to ensure they create a simple payment journey?

  • Minimise steps to purchase –every additional step to purchase, from reviewing selected items to entering personal details, is likely to cause customers to drop out of the sales process. Brands must therefore keep these to a minimum. As it stands, we found that one in 10 retailers have eight steps to purchase – a very high figure.
  • Avoid manual logins –to save time and increase efficiency, retailers must enable users to login using previously saved details on other online platforms such as Google, Facebook, PayPal and Amazon Pay.
  • Facilitate guest access–where possible, retailer’s mobile platforms should offer a ‘guest checkout’ option. This should only require shoppers to enter essential details – such as their name, delivery address and payment information – and should not ask users to create a password. Instead, customers should only be offered the option to create an account once they reach the order success stage. This could prevent up to 35% of shopping basket abandonment.

Omnichannel interaction

Today’s shoppers crave convenience and want to be able to seamlessly access a brand across a variety of platforms. Mobile plays a big role in this, with 71% of shoppers now using their phones to interact with a brand in-store. For this reason, two thirds of retailers are making omnichannel a priority throughout 2019 – with a particular focus on effective mobile design.

Features such as ‘instant stock checks’, whereby shoppers can photograph an item’s barcode to see what sizes that store has available, are an effective way of enabling this cross-platform interaction.

A great example of a brand succeeding in this space is Nike’s app that uses geolocation tagging to identify when users enter the brand’s Oxford Street branch. This activates the app’s in-store features – such as enabling consumers to scan and add items to a digital basket, reserve products, and pay for them – all via the app. The aim behind this is to seamlessly bridge the gap between shopping online and in-store.

Innovations similar to this will help take customer experience to a whole new level.

What next?

Developing a successful CX mobile strategy needs constant attention and adaptation. In the same way that customers constantly change their mind on what products they like and dislike, their opinion of what makes an enjoyable shopping experience alters all the time. So, to maintain a high-level CX, retailers must keep pace with these changing trends.

Collecting customer feedback on a regular basis is vital. In doing so, brands can identify which aspects of their mobile presence is working and areas that need improvement. Monitoring a retailer’s NPS benchmark, encouraging customers to fill out a concise survey and to rate and review a brand, are just a few ways of doing this.  

Going forward, customer experience needs to remain a priority, as this is key to maintaining a successful m-commerce business – now and in the future.


Dale Higginbottom, head of CRO at eCommerce and digital marketing agency, Visualsoft

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