Mobile Conversion Rate Optimization Guide
In the world of mobile sales everything rides on solid conversion rates. People are actively searching for goods and are motivated to buy what they find on their mobile devices. Their concern at that moment is, “Am I getting the most value for my money?” That’s the primary reason that abandonment rates are so high. Mobile transactions normally take place during a very tight time window with plenty of other distractions in the environment. Uncertainty and anything that slows down the transaction will devastate conversion rates.
Have no doubt, the mobile purchase is going to happen. Forrester Research estimates that mobile sales will be responsible for nearly one third of all e-commerce transactions in 2014, totaling more than $114 billion. By 2018, the majority of e-commerce sales will come from mobile devices.
The only real question is whether a business can win over the mobile user at what Google refers to as the “Zero Moment of Truth.” According to Google, it’s that intersection where decision and desire intersect to create a purchasing moment. In that moment, a business needs to have provided a customer with everything they need to feel good about their decision, and can purchase without delay.
A mobile optimized sales channel will help businesses be successful as long as it is tracking and improving their mobile conversion rates. By garnering the data that helps a business better understand how users are reacting to their offerings via a mobile device, the better they’ll be at understanding the formula for targeting different mobile shopping variables with more precision.
Mobile Conversion Rate: The Formula
To steadily push the needle up on conversion rates, m-Commerce managers need a comprehensive view of the transaction from beginning to end.
mShopper uses the following formula to isolate the key components:
CRT = ATCR * CCR
CRT = (ATCVisitsT / VisitsT) * (ORDERT / ATCVisitsT)
CRT = (ATCVisitsT/ VisitsT) * (ORDERT / ATCVisitsT) ORDERT / VisitsT
CRT= ORDERT/ VisitsT
CR = Conversion Rate
ATC = Add to Cart
CC = Cart Conversion
T = Total
Broken down in this way, it is easy to recognize that a higher conversion rate overall depends on improvements in Add to Cart Rate (ATCR) or Cart Completion Rate (CCR).
The next step is to plug in a businesses’ numbers and see where one needs to focus their attention. Increasing Add to Cart rate is simplified by concentrating on “findability” and product data optimization. Making improvements to Cart Completion Rate, however, is more a function of a mobile site’s user experience (UX) alongside a given mobile merchandising strategy. When these four critical functions are working in tandem, they can guide a customer through the sale, and improve the overall conversion rate.
On any mobile site, there are four key criteria that lead to conversion optimization including finadability, product data optimization, UX and mobile merchandising strategy.
The ability to deliver exactly what mobile shoppers are searching for is the single most important factor in improving Add to Cart rates. Winning at search with the right keywords is even more critical in mobile commerce. Mobile shoppers are not typically browsers. They have a definitive goal and an agenda. When a mobile customer visits your site they already know what they want. If the first set of search results are poor, mobile customers rarely return for a second search.
Clicking has to be reduced to a minimum for mobile shoppers. Part of this is finely tuning keywords so shoppers can access the information they are looking for immediately. A shopper will normally select what they find in the top three results of their first search engine results page (SERP). Getting there is possible through the measurement and management of search engine performance. mShopper suggests using a formula called “Mean Reciprocal Ranking.”
With mShopper’s Site Search Tuning, search-ranking importance of various product listing values such as title, description or categories can be prioritized. And, with an advanced scoring system that scores and stores every search result, users can determine whether their search is delivering the best results or needs further tuning.
Product Data Optimization
Imagine shopping blindfolded. Picture going into a store to find a few items you really need, but relying on the store owner for all the information. Would a customer go back?
This is precisely what happens when a mobile store relies on sales copy instead of images. In a study by WeSEE, three out of four shoppers aged 18-34 said they really wanted more visuals in their online shopping experience and that text-based searches don’t work well for them. One third said that they would like to click on items in online photos of celebrities and link to a store that sells those brands. One third also said they would prefer to upload a photo to get a list of stores that sells what’s in the photo. Image search is the actual future of search and online shopping. Even Google is moving this direction with increasing emphasis on images and video in its search displays.
Yet few sites, even those that are optimized for mobile, are making good use of detailed product images to drive their sales. There should be no question that dynamic, engaging images of what’s being sold are key drivers of conversion rates in a mobile store. The mShopper network statistics prove that comprehensive product listings, with relevant metadata like great product descriptions, attributes, variation selectors and reviews are important, but images drive conversion. These images need to be prominently displayed and easily navigated. Product listing SERPs that showcase and emphasize images will vastly improve ATC rate.
Mobile customers expect better images and more detailed information to make a decision on the fly.
Beyond displaying better images, an efficient way to update product pages is critical to conversions. Data feeds that can import all product information will save a great deal of time and effort by rapidly creating comprehensive, high-converting product listings with images. The mShopper Mobile Commerce Dashboard (MCD) makes importing and updating product data feeds painless and includes the ability to import existing feeds from a variety of vendors like Magento and Google Base. The MCD helps load images through the data feed and create an unlimited number of customizable product attributes using dynamic configuration fields. Mobile customers expect better images and more detailed information to make a decision on the fly – make sure they have what they need.
User Experience (UX)
The mStore® UX motto is “NEVERGOBACKTM.” This has two meanings. It represents mShopper’s commitment to continual improvement, but it also means that shoppers should never have to go backwards during a shopping session. The customer’s “session momentum” should accelerate to checkout and through the sale. mStore 4.0 was designed from the ground up to deliver exactly this user experience. Two major features incorporated into mStore 4.1 to improve session momentum include the Universal Navigation Menu and mShopper’s exclusive VisiCart™, an image-based shopping cart with embedded order update overlays.
The universal navigation pane is a customizable fly out menu that is easily accessed by the tap of a finger while on any page of the mStore, except during checkout. Shoppers can access site search, product categories, their profile page, custom sales pages and more at any time. Meanwhile, VisiCart offers instant update overlays for on-page edits of attributes like size, color or quantity without going back to the product details page. “NEVERGOBACK” also applies to the checkout. Shoppers can update quantities, apply different attributes and fix mistakes on billing, shipping or payment information right up to the final purchase confirmation.
The 4th generation mStore makes it easy to navigate through a site from any page. Your customers will never have to go backwards to a home page and abandon their cart to answer vital questions.
The old ways don’t work with mobile. It’s a very different environment than media where one just puts out an ad and hopes customers get the message. On mobile, the customer has a million distractions, they are under time pressure and competitors are a click away. There’s no time for nuance and complexity in messaging. The goal with mobile is simplicity and making it as easy as possible for the customer to move items to carts and carts to purchase.
Customers will never have to go backwards to a home page and abandon their cart to answer vital questions.
The call to action (CTA) deserves top priority status in mobile merchandising strategy. This makes the difference between shoppers and buyers. The CTA should be a button with a message like “Add to Cart” that appears prominently as soon as the customer clicks on an image. No matter how it’s phrased, the “Add to Cart” button must be above the fold so the shopper doesn’t need to scroll down to get what they want.
The second most important branch of a mobile strategy is discovering the right mix of special promotions, time-limited hot deals and themed, curated sales. Time-bombed specials, also called flash sales or cash mobs, have been tremendously successful by offering deals exclusively to engaged mobile shoppers. These offers will drive sales and build a mobile brand. Make sure shoppers can see these exclusive promotions immediately upon entry into a mobile store. Deploy timers and copy to make it clear that the clock is ticking on this deal to compel the shopper to make a decision.
Themed sales related to top news are particularly of interest to mobile merchandising as well. For example, America’s excellent performance at the World Cup in Brazil made a perfect opportunity for sports apparel stores or fitness related organizations to curate sales on soccer and patriotic merchandise.
Completing the Sale
Once a business is findable, is captivating with a great UX, deemed trustworthy due to optimized product displays and desirable due to proper mobile merchandising, nothing else should impede the flow to purchase. This is the point where mobile retail professionals become concerned with cart abandonment. So, remember the following to keep efforts from going to waste.
• Maintain focus. Practically by definition, mobile shoppers are distracted shoppers. They are in motion and have plenty of other moving things to distract them. Streamline the purchase flow for them. Save all the upsells and cross-promotions for your repeat customers.
• Simplify cart editing. Build in a way for customers to change color, quantity or other details without going back. Inline cart editing is a must.
• Request less info. Typing on a mobile device is not fun. Remember that it’s possible to gather information after the sale, so keep the checkout flow shallow; intelligently auto-fill customer details as much as possible. These suggestions will make shoppers less wary and more eager to return.
• Allow guest checkout. Most stores don’t require shoppers to register before they pay. The competition won’t either, and they will get the sale. A popular option for guest shoppers is to ask them for an email in order to send a receipt. Registration/account creation has proven to be a key area for abandonment. Once trust is established with a customer, they will register at a keyboard later to make their lives easier.
• Make security a priority. Use a secure trust seal and reassure shoppers that you will protect their private data. Insecurity around the purchase elevates mobile cart abandonment rates.
Abandonment is never going to go away. Other things take priority sometimes, especially in the mobile world. When it does, however, SMS marketing is one of the best ways to recapture abandoned carts. If they provided their mobile number during checkout, send a follow-up message that includes a discount promo code and a link to their cookied cart page. Even if you only have their email at this point, a simple reminder with a link can drastically improve mobile cart completion rates.
The true power of the mShopper conversion rate formula is that it can be taken apart to focus on each area in turn, and to continually refine and improve mobile sales. Always remember that mobile sales appeal most to customers who value convenience and speed. These should be the guiding principles in mobile store UX. Mobile merchandising will compel customers to take action only if they enjoy visiting a site.
Also, security and trust have to come first. For example, storing credit card data for the customer can be great timesaver BUT dramatically increases liability. The next best options are using alternative payment gateways like Google Wallet, WePay, Dwolla, Square Cash, PayPal or Amazon Payments. These services accept the risk of data theft while they streamline checkout flow.
The businesses that make mobile shopping easy and comfortable are going to win the coming war for mobile sales. This will only become more important in the coming years as mobile takes over e-commerce and shoppers come to expect more from their mobile UX. Please feel free to use this formula and these suggestions to optimize mobile conversions and take business to the next level.