Delivering an engaging and inspiring digital experience (DX) to consumers is one guaranteed way to establish a competitive advantage in the e-commerce market.
How big is this market? The global e-commerce market is expected to grow to more than $3.5 trillion in 2023, which represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14%. With mobile devices having become the de facto standard for online consumer research and product purchases, it is imperative for e-commerce retailers to implement strategies that focus on creating mobile experiences that leave consumers wanting more.
In the early years of e-commerce, online stores were solely accessible by a desktop, providing users the opportunity to learn about and purchase products. However, these websites had inherent weaknesses when it came to e-commerce including:
- Inability to take full advantage of mobile device features.
- Customers were left with a poor user interface experience. Websites were designed for desktop usage, not in a small screen; adaptive or responsive designs were not always inclusive of the variation and age of devices across the world.
- Site response times were dependent upon buyers’ internet connection speeds and wireless infrastructure reliability.
- Deploying websites that were able to perform well and give buyers a great experience on any mobile device was very costly and required significant developer resources. These high costs and resources requirements reduced business users’ ability to rapidly make changes on their websites in response to buyers’ needs
Fast forward to today, and mobile device technology has advanced so much that retail and e-commerce companies have realized that in order to stay relevant in people’s lives and keep up with the competition, they need to expand to mobile commerce with experiences that go beyond just replicating a desktop experience in a mobile-friendly format. Here are three recommendations for adopting mobile technologies to provide superior customer experiences and turn customers into loyal brand advocates.
Insist on PWA
When you speak with a technology vendor, it’s important to make sure they include progressive web application (PWA) technology. Why? In order to deliver exciting and engaging content coupled with a best-in-class user experience that secures customer interest.
A PWA allows you to store files, such as images, videos or other content, locally on a mobile phone where they can be accessed quickly when needed. The most important content is downloaded first, with other content downloaded in a “progressive” manner, enabling the end-user to see the most important content quickly.
With a PWA, you get the engagement available in an app coupled with the accessibility anywhere across the internet; the best of both worlds between a traditional website store and a native application. The benefits include a truly mobile experience regardless of your Internet access and much faster response time. It allows the user to leverage the existing technology on their mobile device and lowers the cost of deployment.
To personalize or not to personalize, that is the question
Leveraging AI-based personalization capabilities is paramount to keeping customers engaged. Delivering personalized content is so important that 79% of digital marketers in retail are investing in personalization tools, more than any other industry.
A company e-Spirit works with is a major U.S. retailer of baby and children’s clothing. With so much merchandise to promote, the marketing team wanted to find a way to increase personalization capabilities in order to meet specific customer interests. Having tens of thousands of product descriptions and images available meant that unique content targeting each customer was difficult.
The retailer created a strategy that allowed the digital marketing team to initiate a content-based strategy that required minimal IT support. Basically, this meant that the digital marketing team was able to manage and change content on the fly. Implementing this strategy meant a reduction in time-to-market for their products and allowed the company to establish a strong bond with their customers, all because the company prioritized using AI-based personalization capabilities.
Customer loyalty = profitability
With the retail industry emerging from over a year of chaos due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to devise strategies that help companies improve customer loyalty and increase revenue. One of the best ways to achieve these goals is to deploy mobile technology strategies that leave customers wanting more – more inspiring experiences, more engagement, more offers and more products that fit every customer’s own interests.
Michael Gerard is chief marketing officer of e-Spirit.