Current m-commerce statistics indicate that a major shift is taking place:
- The percentage of smartphone owners that use their phones to access the Internet doubled between 2009 and 2013, from 31 percent to 63 percent.
- In 2014, over 52 percent of e-retail traffic between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday was mobile.
- Current studies show that 67 percent of consumers say they are more likely to buy from a mobile friendly site.
- Customers are five times more likely to visit a competitor after having a frustrating mobile experience.
The growth of m-commerce happened faster than we predicted at SmartFurniture.com. Up until our shift toward mobile, we were focused on providing a personalized user experience in a desktop environment that allowed our customers to fully customize their furniture purchase. Our focus was on providing options and features with drag and drop configurations or drop-down menus. When we started seeing a significant shift towards mobile and noting trends in mobile browsing we altered our development schedule. Our focus shifted to providing responsive Web design across platforms and simplifying our processes for better mobile engagement.
SmartFurniture.com launched a fully responsive site in July of 2014. When we launched we immediately saw high engagement and spent time collecting engagement data that could inform our decisions moving further into mobile. In response to that data, we focused on what works best based on the device used to access our site.
We utilize Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target to identify what makes sense on mobile. Target has allowed us to do A/B testing on desktops, tablets and mobile phones and track which elements are better on each device. With Adobe we can see what works more quickly and can continue developing the best mobile experience based on the valuable data it provides.
Since the launch of the fully responsive site we have seen a 40 percent increase in combined mobile sales. The shift towards mobile has caused us to look at all of our development through the filter of mobile. Every decision we make for desktop comes with the question of how it will look on additional devices. Instead of basing our energy on one experience, we now focus on many experiences. We are currently seeing high engagement on content we have made available on mobile that may influence the decisions we make for desktops and tablets – a complete shift from where we started.
When we were first considering moving toward responsive Web design I heard a metric that every dollar spent on responsive user experience will return $10. It has been true for SmartFurniture.com. The investment in responsive design has paid for itself very quickly. For our purposes, responsive Web design was the way to go over a mobile specific site or app. It has taken a lot of resources, but it has been worth it.
From here we are focused on improving mobile transactions. We want to make it easier to complete purchases on mobile by improving mobile payment processes. Our motivation is that easier mobile transactions are likely to improve conversion rates. Another emphasis we have is to tie personalization into visual galleries in response to the catalog-like tablet browsing behavior we have seen. The data from these galleries could further personalize the experience we offer our customers and increase the value of mobile.
Mobile caused an evolution in both our design process and how we think about merchandising products to customers. With the rise in mobile driving our decisions we are able to provide our customers with a better user experience as well as remove barriers to conversions. It is clear that mobile is necessary to engage customers and that improvements in mobile user experiences lead to the higher engagement and higher conversion rates. The investment in responsive Web design is a worthwhile investment.