Depending on whose stats you’re looking at, more than half of consumers will abandon eCommerce carts filled with items at the slightest irritation, whether it’s too hard to navigate, or too many repetitive steps during checkout. These are fixable problems.
Citing a stat that the typical person taps their smartphone once every 10 minutes — adding up to three hours a day on the device — it’s creating new consumer behaviors that merchants must be aware of, and cater to, or risk having that consumer click out to any number of competitors.
Noting that the combination of 5G speeds and longer battery life are allowing people to spend more time on their phones, Mangone said it’s “led to some behavioral changes, and the behavioral changes are much more interesting. We, as a society, are simply using our phones more and more because we can, and there’s compelling content we crave. Whether it be social media, gaming, etc., mobile devices really have become the norm.”
Conditioned now by two years of remote work and contactless delivery, “we sought alternative means of window shopping through our mobile devices. I certainly bought many items through my phone as a byproduct of scrolling, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who did that,” he said.
It now falls on merchants and their technology partners to capitalize on new mobile shopping patterns, which should be triggering a mobile user experience review, along with other changes.
“Having a mobile-compatible site that makes it easy to navigate and add to your shopping cart, that’s really table stakes,” Mangone said. “If the shopper struggles to move around the site, they’re going to leave. After shopping, having a seamless checkout experience that includes the customer’s preferred payment method is essential.”
Payment choice is another potent factor, borne out by study after study throughout the pandemic, showing that seeing one’s preferred payment method ups conversions.
Mangone added that it needs to include digital wallets and features for card storage, noting that American Express studies show that 55% of consumers will abandon their cards if they have to re-enter their payment or shipping information” — what he called “a pretty staggering stat.”
Post-checkout, “it’s equally important to send order confirmations and delivery status updates,” he said. “This really creates an experience that gets customers excited and helps build their trust before the product even arrives.”
See also: The Mobile Payments in eCommerce Tracker
So Easy a Child Can Do It
Leveraging our relationship with digital devices in the moment is another important strategy for merchants that want to attract more mobile commerce from a massive base of smartphone shoppers.
Mangone told PYMNTS that apps allow retailers to connect with consumers directly on their phones with the click of a button — without having to open a browser window or search on another channel. They also give merchants the ability to make wise use of push notifications by allowing customers to opt in to alerts about sales and other promotions.
But here’s the rub: The old truism “so simple a child can use it” still applies, and merchants need to invest in user experience (UX) that makes the entire mobile customer journey intuitive.
“I hate to say it, but my 1-year-old can even touch a screen and fast forward to his favorite song in particular movies,” he said. “I share that because that’s how simple it needs to be. Sometimes developers and merchants lose sight of that.”
With PYMNTS research finding that roughly 5 million U.S. consumers often (if not usually) buy additional items when picking up mobile orders curbside or in-store, he added that “customer experience is key here. Consumers are picking up their items in store because they want their goods faster than they can be delivered.”
That’s an opportunity for merchants that have harmonized omnichannel experiences for optimal consumer reactions, which lead to selling more, and more often.
Discovery and Conversion
Getting one’s omnichannel act together doesn’t have be arduous or expensive with the right partner handling integrations and helping smooth out rough spots where conversions fail.
Returning to the extra buys that often attend order pickup, Mangone said “ensuring these incremental goods can easily be added to their order without a painful checkout experience is what’s expected. Increasingly we’re seeing digital checkout experiences are needed to meet those consumer expectations.”
Citing Amazon Go as an example of a great example of frictionless retailing, he said, “It’s so easy, and it takes the painful experience of waiting in line out of the equation. That’s something that I’ve come to expect when making those incremental purchases or pickups. Maybe that’s just me though. I can’t stand lines. I know that I’m not alone in that.”
This gets into the calculus of how different channels are better at certain things — or with specific demographic groups — and these channels are now indispensable to the sales mix.
Pointing to the many eCommerce marketplaces vying for consumer spend, he said retailers that aren’t selling on platforms are missing out on opportunities that others are probably going to capitalize on.
“That’s not to say it’s the only way to succeed,” but the reality is that many online platforms, such as social media sites, “allow retailers to reach that targeted audience at a point of discovery where people are spending more and more time,” he said.
That’s doubly so with millennials, bridge millennials and Generation Z, where Mangone said American Express has “seen an increase year over year of 56% spent from this card member base.”
Adding that embedded payments are also moving consumers from discovery to conversion, he said, “the outcome is that you’re losing business if you’re not at those various points of discovery.”