Shopping will never be the same that it was before – driving to multiple locations to compare prices, standing in lines, and asking salespeople for advice. This type of shopping is giving way to online and mobile shopping experience that is completely revolutionizing the process people have been going through for ages. Now you can shop for groceries, insurances, laptops, and even cars from the comfort of your home. And from the comfort of your phone.
The new type of shopping is evolving daily with companies inventing more seamless and more fun ways to engage prospect buyers, stimulate them to leave more money, stay satisfied, and be willing to come again). However, there is still a number of mobile shopping issues and imperfections that distract and annoy customers, and that sometimes urges them to think twice before using their phones for placing orders and making payments. In the sections to come, we will look at some of the major stumbling blocks of mobile shopping and how companies should address them.
All technology/human interactions are concerned with user-friendliness, and online marketplace is trying hard to eliminate any hurdles or inefficiencies that stand in the way of a customer willing to part with some of their money. Customers want their mobile shopping experience to be fast, intuitive, and productive. One of the major steps in this direction is mass transition from mobile versions of websites to mobile applications. Mobile apps are tailor-made for smartphones and tablets leaving out lots of unnecessary features and components of websites, adapting the interface to touchscreen controls, and speeding up the procedure by storing user settings and preferences as well as taking advantage of the mobile device’s resources.
UX/UI specialist is the key asset in crafting a sleek user experience. They should take into consideration psychological factors, demographics of typical customers, and specifics of the product or service being offered to pave the pathway free of irrelevant elements, unnecessary taps, or vague expectations for the user to follow.
One of the tremendous advantages of online shopping, and mobile shopping in particular, is the ability to collect loads of data about user’s buying habits and patterns, likes and dislikes, needs and wants, all on the individual level! Mobile devices can reveal even more “secrets” of their owners – location, movements throughout the day, other apps being used, etc. You can even monitor the battery level or remaining mobile traffic and adjust your app accordingly.
Cross-selling and upselling are much easier with all personal shopping history readily available in the user’s profile. Recommendation engines are leveraging the power of predictive analytics and machine learning to softly push you to buying more or more often. Once you buy a DSLR camera, you will likely be offered a matching case, a set of lens, a tripod and other useful accessories. These recommenders are becoming so sophisticated that they are capable of predicting your next purchases before you yourself realize the need. Sounds spooky… and sometimes it really is.
In order to be effective, recommendations have to be smart. A person who bought a pair of shoes doesn’t want another pair of shoes – offer something complimentary instead. The machine can do tricks, but it’s a task for a human to teach it the right tricks. Devote sufficient resources to think through this process.
Payments & Security
Payments management and personal data security are the most sensitive areas where mobile shopping problems are highly unwanted. If customers encounter issues with these two, they will be hard to bring back, not to say, recommend your service. And with social media and customer review websites someone’s unfortunate experience may soon become public and undermine your company’s reputation.
Always use maximally secure payment gateways from respected vendors. Some apps may offer dozens of payment methods to try cater to everyone’s needs. This should not be your top priority. Focus on quality – customers will appreciate that much more than the hassle of choosing among hardly distinguishable options. After all, 80/20 rule will still hold – 80 percent of your customers will use only 20 percent of your payment options.
Consider having a feature that remembers the payment options used by the user for previous transactions – this saves their time, but requires you to save credit card credentials in a secure place (in an encrypted form, and preferably not on the user’s device).
Although tempting, please, don’t go too far in your attempts to learn everything about your customer to foresee their needs – keep in mind the applicable legislation, sentiment in society, and what you potentially jeopardize.
Mobile shopping is the locomotive trend for the decades to follow, and a lot is yet to be done by companies and developers alike to balance all the important aspects it has to incorporate – strong but invisible security, personable and responsive interface, and top-notch but not intrusive customization.