As the web turns mobile and more and more people are using their smart phones to browse while on the move, shoppers can now not only compare the price of an item with on the online retailers but with the addition of Google’s local product search they can now check the price with other local retailers. These quick comparisons can now ensure that a shopper is guaranteed of getting the best price.
Online commerce has had a number of advantages over traditional retailers, the biggest being perhaps the low running costs and overheads which is then reflected in the selling price. The one major advantage traditional retailers have is that most shoppers are tactile and they want to feel a product before they commit to buying it.
Many traditional retailers have been able to attribute a large percentage of their sales to impulse buys, much of a stores footfall may enter their premises without the intention of buy anything. But if something of interest catches their eye they may be convinced to make a purchase.
Impulse buying is something that is not normally associated with online shoppers, in fact before most online shoppers commit to making a purchase many will travel down a predefined buying cycle. In each step they have the time and information needed to allow them to choose the right product.
This traditional online buying cycle is essentially the exact opposite of an impulse buy, where the customer makes a “spur of the moment” decision to buy a product.
How can internet retailers benefit from impulse buying.
If ecommerce wants to be able to take advantage of real world impulse buying they need to look to mcommerce.
It’s true that an impulse buy is an on the spot decision, but more on more consumers are using their smart phone to compare the price that they are about to pay with online retailers. This will give many ecommerce sites the opportunity to get their product in front of an audience that is just about to make a purchase.
Getting your site in front of a consumer is only the first step to making mcommerce a profitable route to market. Even though price may be one of the deciding factors when a consumer comes to make a purchase there are a number of other factors that come into play before they commit to making a purchase on a mobile site.
The biggest of these is the security of their credit card details. To counteract this offer a service like paypal or Google checkout, doing this has 2 benefits, both of these service providers are names that people trust and secondly all of the customer’s private information is already stored on these sites which will help to speed up the ordering process.
The second is to only collect the customer’s information that is vital to successfully ship the goods, their email, postal address and contact number is all that most sites need. Asking for as little information as possible will again help to speed up the checkout process.
When designing an mcommerce site it is important to factor in the screensize that you are working with.
Keep the most important information at the top of the page, price, availability, sizes are all important elements and be placed in a prominent position.
For an mcommerce site to be successful it must address a number of FUDS ( fears, uncertainties, doubts)that are associated with mobile commerce. If you can help to alleviate the fears and doubts that customers can have you can then use mobile commerce as a viable and even profitable route to market.
In a recent survey online 12% of the 500 largest online retailers in the States are actively planning to launch and Mcommerce portal. This is leaving a huge gap in the market which can exploited by smaller more agile companies. What will ultimately make a mobile commerce site successful is how well they can position themselves in front of potential customers and how well they can deal with their fears, doubts or uncertainties.