• User Research

18th Jun 2014

4 min

In recent statistics, m-commerce has accounted for 60% of retail sales in 2018 due to users having a greater dependance on mobile devices.

Mobile commerce is a natural progression of e-commerce and has asserted itself as a dominant device for shoppers which has became unavoidable due to brands investing in the ‘mobile experience’.

Smartphones and tablets have been outselling desktops since 2012 and audiences accessing sites using a smartphone has surpassed desktops. In terms of retailers evolving their omnichannel strategy. What does this mean for retailers current online strategies? Brands need to strategically enhance the retail customer journey and smartphones enable this tactic. The realisation of brands understanding the importance of optimising m-commerce sites and in-app purchases have led to increased confidence in purchasing from a mobile device.

In terms of online retail, shoppers have spent the most money using a smartphone compared to desktops or tablets.  

In terms of moving forward, it is important not to make assumptions about the mobile user and how their needs might differ to those accessing your website on desktop.

Does mobile mean mobile?

Mobile is shaping the shopping experience and the bottom line is that retailers now see opportunities to enhance the m-commerce shopping landscape through micro-moments so that users turn to their smartphones to facilitate purchases.

Just because you see the word ‘mobile’ doesn’t necessarily mean that your visitors are accessing your website on their commute as shoppers may make purchasing decisions using more than one device from what they previously started with.

Although they may well be on the bus or rushing around in a busy city centre on their lunch hour, it is just as likely that your mobile users will actually be stationary, at home, on the sofa, with a strong Wi-Fi connection and a desire to simply browse your website.

Attributing the increase in mobile traffic over recent years to users accessing the internet on the go is only half the story. Daily commutes has became the hub for today’s connected consumer due to brands investing in mobile-optimised sites and apps this has covered into a lucrative opportunity for brands as and is now a productive time for shoppers as 73% of commuters in London use a mobile device to purchase items whilst on the move. 

The other half is made up of the mobile users who are choosing to access the internet on their mobile devices, in an environment where they actually have the capacity to access the internet on desktop, they just choose not to due to convenience.

3 methods to help you discover what ‘mobile’ really means

  1. Persona profiling and user journey mapping. Knowing who your users actually are is the first step in understanding how they are likely to react to and interact with new technologies. Customer demographics are of most importance here and builds a persona to understand, how much disposable income does your user possess? Who do they live with? How many children do they have? These answers  will help to hypothesise your target demographics environment and to be in their shoes which increases engagement so that you can meet their expectations.
  2. Analytics. Using your analytics data can not only tell you how much your mobile traffic is increasing but it also allows you to recognise and identify trends in your mobile traffic data so that it will give you greater understanding of customer journeys and perhaps what areas need to be enhanced. Tactics such as exploring mobile visits by hour, will help to determine if users are accessing your website whilst on their daily commute to the office or relaxing on the sofa of an evening. Whereas average time on site and most viewed content from mobile visitors compared to desktop will increase your understanding of how users’ tasks may differ depending on device type.
  3. Diary studies. Diary studies can reveal insight into your audience and their mobile habits such as time of day, location and task aims. Setting up a diary study via email or social media will allow participants to easily log entries whether at home or out and about. It will also mean you are constantly updated about all of the users touch points with your website on mobile, pretty much as they happen. Conducting in-depth follow up interviews with the users after the study period gives you the opportunity to delve deeper into their mobile behaviours and gathers qualitative data to back up your findings.

In summary, data is key to understanding and identifying mobile usage trends which give a credible insight into the majority of purchasing habits and behaviours. This will help to theorise their likely environments and aims when accessing your website on mobile.  Finally, prove your hypothesis by monitoring your users touch points with your website on mobile with research with real users.

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