Posts Tagged ‘Apple iPhone’

As consumer confidence in mobile grows, so does mobile-originating traffic to retail Web sites. In fact, according to a June 2014 comScore report, fully 60 percent of digital media time spent online by consumers is originating from smartphones and tablets, a figure that has increased 50 percent over 2013.

In February of this year, an inMobi study showed that only 11 percent of consumers report accessing the Web mostly from a computer. A recent index of 350-plus retailers saw a same-store year-over-year increase in mobile commerce revenue of 102 percent.

Any online retailer that does not yet have a mobile commerce site is now way behind the curve and is potentially losing money every day.

Mobile commerce is hotter than a five-dollar pistol and offers some tremendous opportunities for retailers who are ready to take advantage. But pitfalls also exist.

Here are five things that online retailers should not do this holiday season if they want to take maximum advantage of the mobile revolution that is transforming the retail landscape.

1. Do not treat mobile as a shrunken version of your main site
While it might be fine for a tablet, serving a resized version of your main site to your smartphone traffic can kill conversion rates and disappoint your customers.

Responsive design has been pitched as a way to display your main site on any screen, but cramming large images and content into the mobile context slows page-load speeds to a crawl, hurts conversions and causes bounce rates to surge.

Responsive design might work fine for content sites, but retailers should not expect a shrink-to-fit approach to satisfy an increasingly savvy mobile consumer base.

Internet Retailer reported in June that, among 12 top-tier responsive mobile sites, the average page-load time was more than 18 seconds.

From the article, “A one-second delay in Web site page load time translates into a 7 percent loss in conversions, according to research firm Aberdeen Group Inc. So if an e-retailer makes $100,000 a day from its mobile site, a one-second page delay could mean around $2.5 million in lost sales every year. If that’s the case, what does an 18-second page load time mean?”

Adopting a mobile-first methodology means you end up dumbing down your ecommerce site to ensure that pages display fast and well. Throwing out the ecommerce baby with the mobile bathwater is not the answer.

Smart retailers see mobile as just what it is: a separate channel with separate use case scenarios that should be treated as such.

Unshackling your mobile site from your ecommerce site pays off with big dividends, in direct proportion to the size of your mobile audience.

2. Do not over-deliver to your mobile homepage
Why would you deliver all your traffic to the same page universally when that traffic might very well be originating from a link that is very product-specific?

Deep-linking is a must these days, and allows smart retailers to sharpen the path to purchase and reduce friction.

While deep-linking a tweet, Facebook post or even a scanned physical QR code to a product detail page and tracking everything is a great first step, mobile landing pages are an even better approach.

Large brands are using branded, custom-designed mobile landing pages to immerse consumes who are pre-qualified to be interested in a certain item. These pages feature omnipresent “Buy Now” buttons to capture the intent to buy without making the consumer scroll and click all over to purchase the item.

If well designed with an easy path to purchase, mobile landing pages can deliver conversion rates many times the rates associated with normal mobile site traffic, since they deliver the consumer to the sweet spot of the mobile commerce site.

3. Do not set it and forget it
Simply having a mobile commerce site is not good enough. It is the bare minimum ante. Retailers should always be iterating and tweaking and even fully re-designing mobile commerce sites on a periodic basis to take maximum advantage of this new sales medium.

Again, mobile is not the same as ecommerce and different things work for different reasons.

Evaluating analytics to identify a mobile commerce site’s top five friction points and fixing them is a great first step.

Often a pop-up email modal or some other gimmick that works well on the ecommerce site will cause mobile consumers to instantly abandon the site. This is another reason why responsive sites tend to under-perform.
Mobile is different and it should not be assumed that what works on your main site works on mobile.

Test, iterate, re-test and refine the mobile experience to ensure you are always increasing your conversion rate and decreasing your bounce rate.

Do not be afraid to embark on a site redesign.

4. Do not ignore mobile wallets
While most press these days is around in-store mobile payments (think Apple Pay), remember that mobile wallets can also serve as friction-reducing tools for mobile commerce sites, allowing a customer’s address and payment information to be auto-filled in.

The checkout process can be a bit tedious on a smartphone, and tools such as Google Wallet and PayPal Mobile Express Checkout allow a customer to pour in their payment information and ship-to address in a single click. The upside of adding this feature can be very significant.

Rockport was the first online retailer to use Google Wallet for its mobile site and has since reported that nine out of 10 consumers who start the checkout process with Google Wallet continue through the process and checkout. When you compare this to an industry average for converted purchases, the upside is beyond obvious.

In 2013, a study by Jumio reported that $15.9 billion in mobile commerce sales were left on the table for that year due to a 97 percent average cart abandonment rate for mobile.

Sure, things are busy and it takes time to add any new feature, but something that can significantly boost your conversion rate usually comes with a rapid ROI and is well-worth doing.

5. Do not forget your physical stores
Smartphones are in people’s hands and are always on. Too often, the commerce team that handles the mobile site and the marketing teams that handle the in-store experience and display are siloed off from one another. These teams should be meeting, talking and finding ways to use in-store mobile engagement to further both their missions.

Consumers in a store are highly pre-qualified to be interested in your products. Mobile engagement can mean the difference between knowing nothing about your store visitors and adding them to your customer logs.

QR codes, NFC and SMS can all be used to deliver a link to an interested consumer that can trigger the launch of a page custom-designed to receive this traffic.


This article was the lead story in Mobile Commerce Daily on October 24, 2014. Wilson Kerr is vice president of business development and sales at Unbound Commerce, Boston. Reach him at wilson@unboundcommerce.com.


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Wilson Kerr is a former Tele Atlas exec who started LBS Consulting Firm Location Based Strategy, LLC in 2007.


I am up late January 5th and have been awaiting the first news stories from the big Vegas Consumer Electronics Show (CES) about the new Google phone, the Nexus One. I just Googled up the first piece (from 33 minutes ago) from, of all sources, the Montreal Gazette. In the final few sentences they capture the essence of the real disruptive innovation threat this bold Google Phone poses to business as usual for US Carriers and, I would imagine, people are applauding!

Here is the quote, “Google Voice automatically links certain cellphones with home and business lines, bypassing existing cellular networks. Users must be within range of a wireless Internet connection for it to work. In cities such as Boston and Toronto, where Wi-Fi Internet networks will soon blanket the urban area, the software will allow consumers to say goodbye to monthly cellphone bills entirely.”

Yes, if a Google Phone uses wifi to makes a call to another Google Phone using the integrated Google Voice application, there are no Carriers involved! The term “cell phone” might need to change to “web phone”, literally overnight.

Did anyone else get the Christmas present of free airport wifi, from Google? I did. If they can do it for all our airports and people seemed pleased, why not a city or, even more importantly, less affluent rural areas where the population is unlikely to shell out for carrier-sold mobile data plans or high speed web access at home. In these same rural areas businesses tend to be geographically concentrated and mobile advertising can have a compounded effect, especially for local advertisers.

Broadband access is a key here. $7.2 Billion in taxpayer dollars have been allocated toward mapping current coverage and then expanding broadband access to all Americans by filling the gaps. Groups like the New America Foundation are pushing initiatives like their Wireless Future Program to use this $ to link up everyone under the WiMax broadband umbrella. Google CEO Eric Schmidt is the Chairman of their Board.

Non-profit corporations like One Economy are pushing wireless broadband and linking it to economic development and progress through programs like their PIC.tv (The Public Internet Channel).  A vocal proponent of broadband internet access for all (and the same person who signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 -with the $7.2 Billion for broadband access) also helped create One Economy’s Public Internet Channel; then Senator Barak Obama. Google will double your contribution to One Economy this Holiday Season, seriously. Heck, a Google Exec is running for the Governorship of Vermont on a platform that, in part, pushes wireless broadband access for all the citizens!

Broadband wireless internet access for all is certainly a good thing for our country and is conveniently also a key to the Google phone puzzle. Brin and Page think big and seem to be well on their way, with plenty of support for broadband for all from those in high places. It’s hard to see the downside of what they want to see happen. I know I cringe every time I get the Verizon bill for the DSL that is going to post this blog in a minute or two. Bring on the free wifi and the free phone calls that could follow, Google ads and all!

Frustration about the brick walls the Carriers have thrown up all over the LBS world and the high fees they charge is going to help speed Google along and add to the “how to compete with free” dilemma the Carriers (and Apple) now face. As long as people do not mind having Google “learn” their wants and buying habits to shape the ads they see, I am not sure what’s going to stop them. While there will be much hand-wringing about where all that information Google captures is being stored and what its being used for, the promise of a phone that sidesteps draconian Carrier contracts with their outrageous fees for voice and data services will be a powerful siren song for consumers. Few would argue that the enfranchising widespread internet access needed for this to happen is not a common good for everyone.

Google Voice on the new Google Phone running on free (Google-supported?) WiFi/WiMax is about to blow things wide open. Might even happen tomorrow!


Post Script: (1/7/10): It should be noted that Apple has entered the mobile advertising fray by purchasing Quattro Wireless. This was announced 1/5/10. Certainly a smart move, as they could now subsidize device prices via ads or offer prepackaged revenue-generating mobile advertising options as a part of the App Store SDK, for example. Currently, the majority of the ads running on iPhone apps are served up by Google-owned AdMob. While the pro/con functionality comparisons between the Nexus One and the iPhone fill the blogosphere, the often-overlooked (and more interesting) discussion  is the revenue models of Apple Vs. Google. Looks like Apple has seen the light.


Wilson Kerr is a former Tele Atlas exec who started LBS Consulting Firm Location Based Strategy, LLC in 2007. He sometimes stays up past midnight writing about the fast moving Location Based wireless world and what Google is doing and the speed they are doing it.

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