Consumers are rapidly changing the way they shop. Smartphones, tablets and desktops give them 24/7 access to your online store and, with an estimated 4.92 billion global mobile users, you need to make sure your virtual doors are always open.
That’s not all. You also need to keep pace with consumer trends. It’s not enough to have a website, it needs to work across multiple devices, across a range of geographical locations and for a variety of buying scenarios.
Because consumers aren’t just using mobile devices to research and buy from your store, their behaviour and attitude towards online shopping changes depending on where they are and what they’re doing.
So, what does this mean for your brand?
You need to prepare for on-the-go shopping
Consumer behaviour on mobile devices varies wildly in different situations. Smartphones are also used more frequently at home than on the move. Almost two-thirds of mobile use happens in the home, compared to 36% of use when out and about. And, when they’re on the go, consumers are turning to their devices for quick answers and information, including which businesses to make a purchase from.
More than half of online sales between November 2016 and January 2017 in the UK also involved handheld devices, rather than traditional computers or laptops, according to IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group), the trade body for internet retailers.
A year earlier the equivalent figure was just 40%. This apparent surge is due to a combination of large smartphone screens and online sites making improvements for mobile devices. Google’s AMP is also responsible for this acceleration. Essentially, AMP is the key to ensuring websites run super quick and Google favours these website pages above others in their search ranking index.
However, you must do more than simply provide an app or mobile website. As 93% of consumers consider visual appearance to be a factor in their purchase decision, your online offering must look the business, or you will lose customers.
A consistent user experience across a huge combination of devices, operating systems and locations is vital. You’ll need to test your site to guarantee this level of coverage and crowdtesting, for example, can achieve this, while cutting down on the length of your web testing.
Let your customers research ahead of a purchase
The rise of the smartphone now means consumers demand quick, easy, and relevant access to content. Smartphones also provide fast results tailored to a consumer’s exact location so, even if they have a computer nearby, a smartphone will give them the most relevant information in the quickest time possible.
Such online research is vital both for consumers on the move and sat at home. When on the move, one in five consumers are looking for a specific web address and 42% plan to make a purchase within the hour. The number of people looking to make an immediate purchase has grown 56% compared to 2014, which shows a shift in behaviour. At home, consumers have more time to browse, compare prices and really consider a purchase.
Such research also means a consumer can conduct their research and then go into a physical store equipped with knowledge, ready to make a purchase.
However, more than half (57%) of online shoppers do prefer to shop online. Some 53% of consumers said mobile devices are the most important device for research, up from 25% two years ago. Reliance on computers has also fallen, with 73% of consumers citing their desktop as critical to decision making in 2013 compared to just 36% today.
You must mirror all of these different usage and buying scenarios into your web testing strategy. Every user journey is unique, so you should ensure your mobile website and/or app works whether your users are browsing at home, on the go and in a range of physical locations and across the full range of available devices.
Make sure your consumers are engaged
The more engaging your app is, the more your consumers will spend, according to a study from Iowa State University.
The study also revealed apps should offer consumer benefits to build customer loyalty. Supporting studies by Inc also show that technical issues are the biggest reason why apps get deleted with failure to load and bugs, in particular, making users reach for the delete button.
A seamless digital experience is more and more important to your users with engaged customers six times more likely to try a new product or service. This is especially true with millennials and digital natives who were born and raised in an online world.
Bridging the gap between in-store and online shopping environments
The lines between in-store and online shopping are becoming increasingly blurred. For example, fashion retailer All Saints has integrated the convenience of web browsing in their physical stores by adding internet enabled kiosks on-site.
These kiosks allow customers to browse and check the availability of items online, and then try the item on in-store. It’s the best of both worlds but, if your mobile site is not up to scratch, it could adversely affect the in-store experience for your consumers.
You need to keep pace with the changing demands and spend habits of your consumers. Your users want to make a purchase anywhere, at any time and on any device.
It’s a lofty ambition but one that is achievable if you implement a robust web testing strategy that leverages the power of the crowd to answer the needs of your shopping crowd. Revolutionise your web testing strategy today by downloading our easy guide...