Ecommerce accounts for more than $3.5 trillion in yearly sales, and the industry is only growing with each passing year. The barriers to entry are disappearing as new technology brings new customers and businesses to the eCommerce world. As the industry expands, competition between businesses becomes more intense. Businesses are fighting each other for the customer’s attention, and only the smartest, most efficient, and future-thinking companies will rise above the rest of the crowd. By employing eCommerce-focused sales strategies, such as shipping APIs and focusing on mobile, you can reap the benefits of an ever-expanding industry and stay ahead of the competition.
Mobile Matters More Than Ever
The eCommerce industry has been talking about the rise of mobile for years, but the switch from desktop to mobile is imminent. Statista predicts that by 2021 over 50% of all eCommerce retail sales will come from mobile devices officially surpassing desktop shopping. Mobile eCommerce is no longer something your business can ignore and pushing aside mobile marketing is willingly pushing aside profits and opportunity. Tapping into mobile eCommerce requires more than flipping a switch to send your website to mobile devices, properly selling and marketing on mobile takes a significant amount of preparation and maintenance. If you want to successfully conduct business on mobile, you must put in the necessary work to ensure your mobile presence is optimized.
Customers expect a different experience on mobile versus desktop. On a desktop, you have the room to expand on content and explain things in detail, but mobile does not afford those luxuries. Mobile screens are significantly smaller than desktop monitors, so text must be large enough to easily read, but larger text means you have less room to convey information. The information must be digestible, concise, and clear to convey the necessary details to a customer without filling a mobile screen with a wall of text. This same mentality should apply to all aspects of mobile website design. For example, clickable buttons must be large enough that a customer isn’t fighting the touchscreen to click on what they want, site navigation must be obvious and easy to use, and checkout cannot be cumbersome lest you drive would-be paying customers away.
Mobile shoppers tend to be more flighty than desktop shoppers meaning the standard of quality is set much higher on mobile. Mobile shoppers will not stay and wait for a poorly optimized website to load – they will jump to a better performing site in less than a minute. Many companies, including Twitter and Forbes, are switching from mobile websites and apps to Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) to improve performance and bring benefits from apps that traditional websites cannot accommodate. PWAs are still discoverable by search engines and SEO optimization is still effective, but PWAs bring many benefits websites can’t compete with. PWAs look and work like downloaded apps without the download meaning there is little to no learning curve and customers won’t be forced to clear space on their device for yet another app. PWAs are compatible with every browser and deliver lightning-fast load times ensuring customers never jump ship due to a lagging webpage.
Video Builds Product Confidence and Brand Trust
Customers have come to expect video content. Many online shoppers on both desktop and mobile say they would rather watch a video than read product descriptions. Actually seeing a product in action gives a customer more confidence than reading about the product’s capabilities. Watching a product video builds customer confidence in the product and trust in the brand. If a brand shows its product with full transparency, customers are more likely to trust the brand and purchase from the brand again.
Video content has been shown to increase engagement. Emails with videos are opened at a much higher rate than standard text-only marketing emails and video ads on social media are viewed longer than still image ads. When video content is implemented correctly and optimized with SEO, it can generate interest and trust in your brand.
However, there are some common courtesy rules to follow when integrating video content. Videos should never autoplay with sound on by default. Little is more startling and irritating than opening a webpage to have a video loudly greet you without warning. Videos should either require a viewer to hit ‘play’ or autoplay without audio. Many customers, especially mobile shoppers, may not have a way to play audio privately and letting a video’s audio play in public is considered rude. To fix this situation, include live captions on all video content. Not only do captions let customers digest the video however they want, but it is also inclusive to customers who are hard of hearing.
Ecommerce is rapidly advancing and expanding. By enthusiastically embracing mobile eCommerce, you can stay ahead of the curve and greet new shoppers when mobile replaces desktop as the preferred shopping platform. Video content builds trust in your brand and your products, but it should be handled considerately so customers can watch your content without negatively impacting others.