Blog post

Mobile optimization as part of an omnichannel strategy

April 11, 2018Michael Henley

As online shopping and the trove of data it provides has become more refined, personalization has become a more regular part of the digital experience–and shoppers have noticed. People expect content to be relevant and personalized even as their experiences span multiple devices. The simplest way to capitalize on this omnichannel experience is through mobile optimization.

It’s estimated that between 41% and 65% of all customer journeys now take place on more than one device, and of those, three quarters involve a computer and a mobile device. As the first frontier in digital commerce, desktop experiences are likely to be better optimized than their mobile counterparts. But failing to acknowledge the changing landscape risks missing out on significant data and revenue–as well as a whole generation of shoppers.

Personalize everywhere

A lot has already been said about the value of providing a good customer experience, and personalization is one of the prime ways of providing one. People are willing to provide information if it results in an experience tailored to them. They want to be valued for their repeat business with perks and convenience–in other words, treated like people. This could be something as simple as a consistent brand experience. By providing an environment that remembers past visits–things like preferences, wish lists, and purchases–you can help differentiate one person’s time on your site from another’s.

Mobile optimization is a key part of an omnichannel strategyCreating an environment that can go seamlessly from one device to another (such as the iCloud) requires improving mobile functionality. The fluid shopping experience that results can have several positive benefits, including opening up people to spending more. This is especially true of younger generations, who are progressively more native to a digital experience on their phones. There’s a lot to be missed if your mobile presence isn’t there to be found.

A new marketplace for the next generation

However you decide to define Gen Z, they are the future of the market. And that market is very mobile. In fact, the youngest generation of shoppers could be converting up to twice as often on mobile devices as any other generation. Furthermore, a significant number of them don’t even own a desktop. They still want a personalized experience, it’s just going to have to come on a mobile device.

Younger generations are also quick to abandon an unsatisfactory experience. Improving customer experience is important across the board, but mere omnichannel functionality isn’t enough–it has to be good. A lack of a comprehensive mobile experience not only risks alienating multi-device shoppers, it could completely miss an entire segment of the market. Mobile optimization is necessary to reach this new generation. Thankfully, there’s an existing technology to take advantage of the mobile marketplace.

Order some apps

Mobile optimization is a key part of an omnichannel strategyWhile mobile apps haven’t replaced mobile web browsing, the market for apps is expected to remain strong. Already at $1.3 trillion in 2016, it’s expected to nearly quadruple by 2021. That same year, 3.5 trillion hours are expected to be spent using those apps. That’s about 400 million years’ worth of attention to grab. Combined with younger generations’ propensity for using apps (of good quality), the need to invest in mobile technology becomes clear.

But it’s not just about reaching a new market. Regardless of the generation, the desktop and mobile experiences have become too intertwined to just focus on one. Mobile devices are overwhelmingly used in the middle of the buyer’s journey, making a bad mobile experience difficult to compensate for. Whether or not your app is directly responsible for a customer’s purchase, it’s important as an intermediary. Making it functional, personalized, and convenient can help keep someone on the track to completing a purchase.

Mobile optimization just makes dollars (and sense)

One of the difficulties in transitioning from a single-channel environment to an omnichannel experience is that it tends to compartmentalize ideas that should be connected. The more you can think of your channels as extensions of each other, the less likely any one of them is to be ignored. Younger shoppers, more native to the digital space, already experience physical and online stores as continuations of the same experience. It’s not about “either/or,” it’s “and,” and it can help you put your omnichannel strategy into perspective.

From a simple numbers standpoint, multi-device purchasers tend to convert more often, and they spend more when they do. So, while an optimized omnichannel experience helps you reach people who use either mobile devices or a desktop, it has exceptional value when reaching those who use both. By improving all of your channels, you not only make your experience better for users of any one of them, you make it better for all of them.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Episerver can help your omnichannel strategy through mobile optimization, please contact us. Remember, there’s no cost for initial consultations. To stay up-to-date on all things digital commerce, subscribe to our newsletter.

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