Let’s get straight to the point. Gartner Research says that “by 2017, U.S. Customers’ Mobile engagement behavior will drive mobile commerce revenue to 50 percent of U.S. Digital Commerce Revenue”
However, before diving into mobile, first, let’s state the #1 pain with e-commerce retail sites. The pain starts with the standard e-commerce funnel, hence the drop off rate or in other words, a cart abandonment rate. Most sources claim that cart abandonment rate is around 68%. That’s why e-commerce managers are hired — to figure out how they can convert web visitors into customers. And also, why visitors abandon their carts in the first place… Sounds manageable, right?
Take a look at the graphic above. You can see each stage has its own set of disadvantages. There are plenty of reasons why visitors abandon the cart. From impersonal user experiences, complicated payment conditions, to having second thoughts on the offer or product, the reasons go on and on.
However, addressing these issues doesn’t necessarily have to start at the top of the funnel.
It starts with your mobile app. Your customers spend more time on apps than any other digital channel (about 90% apps, 10% mobile sites) according to comScore. Imagine tapping into your app where you can nurture users (leads) through personalized, 1 on 1 engagements, then drive them to purchase either via your e-commerce site or within your mobile commerce (m-commerce) app.
So how can you (as a retailer) accomplish better m-commerce revenue? How can you drive conversion rates in the store, app or e-commerce site from customer engagement? Start with these 3 main points:
Phase I. Nurture customers with relevant offers.
Just like an inbound marketing strategy where you nurture your web leads with content/offers that would interest them, mobile has the same nature. Translating that tactic through an app remains the question.
How do you engage your customers with content or offers via mobile that would interest them?
First, start by segmenting your persona group. A persona group should have enough valuable or actionable data about them. You need a proper integration of your CRM or e-commerce system into your mobile channel so there’s a constant influx of customer data populating. The point of data coming from all channels into your mobile channel is to better segment your persona group, or at least initially before you engage users through your retail m-commerce app.
After you choose your persona group, formulate the right kind of engagement that would:
A. Incentivize customers to engage back (with mobile assets* as a start)
B. Track their in-app engagement data with mobile analytics tools
C. Help you learn about your users/customers
D. Make data-driven decisions based on customer engagements
E. Calculate the mobile ROI in your e-commerce conversion rate from mobile qualified leads or alternatively, mobile community leads (MCLs)
For instance, let’s say you have a large persona group of business travelers. They only check in the airport through your airline app. Because they prefer to check in via your app, why not send them a voucher for $10 off their next flight if they answer your question (the engagement).
*Assets are, but not limited to high quality, creatively rich, interactive engagement tools like coupons, vouchers, surveys, polls, messages, 3D product models, videos, loyalty points, games, etc. – all native designed to be displayed in a pixel perfect way on the screen of the mobile device – thus, delivering a very rich app experience to the customer.
Make sure that John can book this flight by being redirected from the app (via app deep linking) into the airline site. Have that promotion readily available in the site and show him a confirmation when he redeems the promo in his in-app wallet. Here’s the final conversion example #1 of an omni-channel journey (mobile to e-com. site).
But let’s say John didn’t engage back with an answer. He was disinterested in the $10 voucher and swiped away the notification. Or he simply hit the red opt-out option below. Therefore, approach him with another offer.
Let’s say he was revisiting the app screen called “Travel Essentials.” He has been checking out the weather-proof spinner bag because after he flew back to Seattle, he discovered his luggage got totally soaked and destroyed.
Why not offer John a voucher for $30 off the weather proof spinner if he upgrades to business class?
If he still doesn’t budge, give him a sense of urgency with a timer ticking away.
Phase II. Enable Precise and Targeted Deep Links to E-Commerce Site Offer
Let’s say John does click the call-to-action “Buy now” button. Guide him to the exact product page with the offer in the e-commerce site page (hence, the weather-proof spinner). In order to show him the offer, you must have the capability to deep link. Without getting into the coding or development of deep linking, choosing the right mobile engagement platform can enable you to automate deep links to the exact product page on your e-commerce site.
Speed should also be taken into account. Your lead will drop off the funnel if he or she isn’t redirected to the offer immediately. Google claims that, “When your site or app is clumsy or slow, 29% of smartphone users will immediately switch to another site or app if it doesn’t satisfy their needs” At this stage, you have a much higher rate of conversion or converting the mobile user into a paying customer because he or she has been nurtured through your app.
How again? Because you nurtured them with contextually relevant offers and personalized 1 to 1 engagements, seen in phase I. John needed that waterproof spinner and you approached him at the right time (he’s back home from the flight), in the right context (he had a history of looking at that spinner on the app) and with the right format/offer (which is the product page on the e-commerce site). Now let’s say John finishes the transaction. He has officially completed the funnel.
Phase III. Constantly Question Your App’s Value Proposition and Omni-channel Strategy Through Each Conversion.
Whatever your app stands for (the value proposition) one thing is for sure. You have to constantly ask yourself, what is the value of my app for my users like John? What can they learn? What info will help them or make their lives easier? What products are they looking for? How can I help guide them to the right choice/place? How can I keep them engaged, active, loyal and retain them?
At the same time, you must ask yourself, what is important for my business so that I can drive conversion rates up, shopping cart load, decrease cart abandonment and make more sales? How can I improve my omnichannel strategy with constantly refined data to/from my mobile channel? Specifically, what type of important data can I draw from customer engagement inside the app and in the e-commerce site?
The questions go on. But this is just the beginning of a new, uncharted territory. Again, growing your mobile communities can’t happen without actionable customer data and personalized engagements. Transferring customers via the e-commerce funnel can’t happen without deep linking through the power of a mobile engagement solution.