Leadership

Mobile Goes Way Beyond Conversion

February 6, 2019
Mobile is at the center of retail growth, but before your business can harness it you need to first understand how customers are using their devices to interact with brands. 
 
Mobile is Transforming E-Commerce
 
Mobile is the number one way that brands and their customers interact. This development has come out of nowhere in just the last seven to eight years, but it has entirely transformed the relationship between buyers and sellers. Here’s a quick overview of how mobile technology is being employed in e-commerce:
 
  • It’s a billboard for your brand
  • It’s the go-to way that customers will communicate with your company
  • Roughly 60 percent of all website traffic is now coming from mobile
  • It’s the principal method for starting product research
     
Mobile is now ubiquitous, but this hasn’t translated into the metric that matters most -- conversion rates (at least not yet). Mobile converts at a 20 percent lower rate than on desktop, but retailers using that as the primary measure for success miss the point.
 
Ways Customers Are Using Mobile
 
Making a final purchase is not the primary goal of most mobile users. However, they are using their devices to:
 
  • Research products before purchasing
  • Check item availability
  • As the most convenient method to engage with brands
  • As an easy way to locate stores
  • To create virtual wish lists by placing products in their shopping carts
     
If conversion isn’t the primary goal, then how can you measure success? The key is being able to track your customers across different channels and understand the holistic impact mobile can have. 
 
Things You Should Be Measuring On Mobile
 
Customers very often use their mobile shopping carts as wish lists for items they’ll buy in-store or on their desktop device. So, how do you measure that impact? Here are some recommendations:
 
  • Shopping carts created that lead to a sale on other types of devices
  • Time spent on-site or in-app
  • Customer LTV
  • The Love Ratio (the positive feedback score your app gets from users)
  • Mobile actions (including items reserved for later pick-up)
     
Takeaway
 
You can’t just be focused myopically on mobile conversions. You need to understand how mobile activities tie into a series of interactions with your brand. That means including omnichannel measurements. For example, if a customer uses mobile to check inventory at one of your bricks-and-mortar locations, but then makes the final purchase in-store, then that should be treated as a mobile activity.
 
In order to succeed, you have to know what to measure. Conventional metrics (whatever everybody else is measuring) can fail to capture the bigger picture. On the other hand, looking at how consumers are utilizing mobile can help you identify smarter and more comprehensive ways of leveraging the technology.