With most companies focused on perfecting the art of new customer acquisition and old customer retention, replatforming for mobile has seen its heyday among major brands and retailers with significant audience reach. However, it is often times the smaller players – mid-size businesses, regional marketers – that are still playing catch-up to the big dogs in the retail world, perhaps most aggressively when it comes to optimizing their content for mobile channels.
The age of desktop-only sites has come and gone, paving the way for mobile shopping experiences taking place on mdot sites with speedy checkouts and a plethora of digital payment options. However, some retailers may still be struggling with deciding whether they need to replatform their existing ecommerce solutions entirely for mobile – and if so, what factors to keep atop the must-have list.
Load times: No consumer wants to spend thirty seconds waiting for a retail site to load on a smartphone – especially if that person has just been a hit with a sudden nugget of inspiration to look up a desired dress or just-seen jacket. If the load time takes too long, the potential customer will simply return to Google, or try his or her luck on a competitor’s page. Therefore, marketers must ensure their online site becomes responsive for all mobile and tablet devices, or opt to build a separate mdot site for greeting smartphone users.
Checkout experiences: The commerce element must ultimately be at the core of the replatforming process. While most retailers have honed their ecommerce sites to include quick browsing abilities, enticing product imagery, and seamless checkout experiences, many are still encountering difficulties with mobile shoppers. Consumers may find that all of their favorited items have disappeared from their mobile shopping carts, or may encounter challenges in inputting their credit card information into the tiny fields on the checkout page. And inputting a promotional code? Not always as easy as it sounds, when it comes to mobile sites and apps.
These possibilities require brands to remove friction from their mobile channels and replatform their ecommerce sites accordingly. One way of optimizing these experiences is to offer a multitude of digital wallet options – Android Pay, Apple Pay, Visa Checkout, all the bigwigs – for consumers wanting a one-click, no-credit-card-necessary checkout.
Search engine optimization: Last year, Google announced its decision to enact a mobile-friendly ranking algorithm for any individual using its search engine. Brands with non-mobile-optimized sites are now penalized by having their material show up much later in consumers’ searches. SEO should be a primary concern for any marketer wanting to replatform their channels for mobile. The best way to implement SEO practices may need to be one of the first questions included in an RFP.
Quick onboarding: Retailers also need to make sure that the entire replatforming process is completed in a reasonable amount of time. The longer they wait to optimize their services for mobile, the greater the possibility of lost customers grows. Additionally, if consumers visit a business’s online site and find content rearranged or a portion of the site temporarily missing, chances are that positive brand sentiment will decrease. The replatforming experience must be done seamlessly and swiftly.
Technology adaptation: Replatforming ecommerce channels for mobile may also include a focus on the latest smartphone-friendly technologies, such as beacons and push notifications. Mobile sites require different calls-to-action than their desktop counterparts do, meaning that marketers must be ready to fuel customers’ possible indecision about a purchase into unwavering certainty with the right tools. This could include a push notification reminding an individual about his or her abandoned shopping cart, a follow-up email, or even a discount code with a free shipping offer.
However, one way of circumventing the issues that may arise with a major replatform is to team up with a third-party platform that integrates with preexisting ecommerce content. Optimizing the omnichannel process can be easier by tapping a comprehensive solution – such as NewStore’s mobile retail platform – that focuses on one-touch purchases, on-demand delivery, and scalable clienteling. After all, if you can’t reach your customers on mobile, where else can you find them at any point of the day or night?
Download our guide, Omnichannel Commerce in the Mobile Age and learn the four ways to rethink your retail strategy using a “mobile-first” lens.