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Tech Guest Viewpoint: How to Have a Happy Mobile Summer


As consumers continue shifting to mobile-only shopping experiences this summer, retailers have a greater need than ever for an e-commerce platform that delivers responsive, consistent experiences across any given device or channel.

Whether consumers are shopping poolside, planeside or on the road to vacation, summertime mobile campaigns provide the connection retailers need to a constantly on-the-move customer base.

According to a recent Forrester report, business-to-consumer e-commerce in the U.S. reached $300 billion in 2015, and is expected to top $500 billion by 2020. In this growing market, retailers can harness their e-commerce technology to tap into heavy potential profits, starting with an updated mobile marketing strategy. To begin, retailers need to have the right processes in place to excel digitally. In order to maximize traffic, uptime and sales, retailers must create a positive customer experience on both desktop and mobile.

Fashion retailer Bluefly recently transitioned from a traditional retail model to a fashion and design marketplace with more than 2,500 brands. Bluefly relaunched its website with a significant focus on creating a robust and integrated mobile front to facilitate a holistic customer experience.

The retailer chose to focus engagement on its mobile experience, creating push notifications to promote sales and drive traffic to the website. Bluefly also leveraged social media by integrating its curated Instagram feed with its e-commerce platform.

Offering new promotions and aligning with social media to drive mobile-based sales is a great way for retailers to promote summer-specific offers and incentives for mobile users. These tactics encourage engagement and build mobile traffic during summer months, when connecting with customers can be tricky.

A few years ago, convenience store giant 7-Eleven launched a multichannel summer campaign using a combination of SMS, mobile web, social media and mobile advertising aimed at driving in-store traffic for on the go shoppers. This multichannel campaign heavily leveraged mobile technology and reaped rewards in spades for the retailer.

Few retailers are completely prepared to make the back-end transition to a mobile-first approach. As a result of mobile commerce’s rapid growth in the last two years, many companies are struggling to adjust, leaving them vulnerable to mistakes that can hurt their business during this crucial time of transition.

Common pitfalls that often hamper operations for retailers include multichannel measurement, choosing the right technology partners and site usability issues. To successfully avoid these traps, consider the following actions:

· Make seamless handoffs and a consistent brand experience your top priorities when measuring effectiveness across channels.

· Select a technology partner that will support you now and where you want to go. Choose a platform that will work with you to achieve your business goals and is willing to give you the service level that you need to be successful.

· Prioritize site usability and user experience. According to a Forrester Research study, the majority of sites do not pass the user experience test, and that has a direct correlation to ROI. In fact, Forrester shows that on average, every dollar invested in online user experience brings $100 in return.

Understandably, the prospect of changing up e-commerce strategies is daunting, to say the least. However, retail brands that think strategically about their use of mobile during the summer, and are adequately prepared from a technology standpoint, will be the ones that come out with stronger brand engagement and higher sales at the end of the season.

Jonathan Roeder is VP of architecture at Mozu.

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