It's that time of year again! With the holiday season less than a month away, you and your marketing departments are already planning shopping strategies both on- and offline.
Have you considered the role smart phones, tablets and mobile apps will play in your overall sales this year?
A study recently published by Google indicates that the lines between online and offline shopping have blurred, with little difference in customers' (user) experience.
According to the study, shoppers intend to spend more this holiday season, and they will also be doing a lot more research on products, brands and prices. It's interesting to note that:
- 51% will research online, then purchase at a store location;
- 44% will research and purchase an item online;
- 32% will research the item online, go to the store to see the item as well, and then make the actual purchase online; and
- 17% will check out the item at the store, and then purchase it online.
Quite often, shoppers are using one of several mobile devices to find information. Your website and/or mobile app should accommodate varied mobile devices by loading quickly, while still being informative and visually engaging.
Whether viewed from a desktop or mobile device, a strategically planned website can turn online shoppers into buyers! Here are a few tips to get ahead of your competition:
- Communicate with your customer by considering demographics and customer feedback.
- Go for a more creative look and feel that will function well for both mobile and desktop applications.
- Integrate with social media sites for customer convenience, visibility and to stimulate interest in your product.
- Make the site easy to navigate with simple check-out procedures. Offer PayPal. Include wish lists and merchandise suggestions. For security, use SSL encryption.
- Provide rich product detail, including graphics and reviews, so shoppers have all the information they need.
A positive user experience, whether online or in-store, is essential for making the sale and having a return customer who will recommend your brand to others.