In less than a month, we will be staring down the Internet pipe at the busiest online shopping day of the year: Cyber Monday. Last year, Cyber Monday sales accounted for nearly $2.7 billion of sales, with 40% of that coming from mobile devices.
Retailers are already sending out teasers, inviting us to watch for their special deals. But while they are putting thought and effort behind what they will offer, how much attention are they putting on how they will optimize the shopping – and buying – experience? It’s not easy to hit a moving target, nor is it simple to make the user experience swift and seamless for a mobile customer.
According to a recent report from Alphabet (parent company of Google), mobile search has surpassed desktop search worldwide. A separate report from eMarketer based on BIA/Kelsey data, estimates there will be 81.8 billion searches conducted via mobile devices in 2015 – in the U.S. alone. That’s an increase of 23% over 2014.
The challenge for marketers, especially those who may have paid little or no attention to their mobile strategy, is how to deliver a fast, efficient customer experience from search to purchase.
The user experience is critical, especially given the lack of patience the Internet has created. When users go to a site, whether it’s via a desktop or mobile device, they expect it to work quickly and seamlessly. If the site doesn’t, they’re only a back button away from checking out a competitor. And once they hit that back button – whether because a site isn’t loading fast enough or isn’t readable on their mobile device – you don’t just lose that sale. It could have a significant effect on the lifetime value of that customer or prospect.
Think of what that does to your investment in paid search. You spend many months and dollars developing ads, researching keywords, testing and analyzing to determine what will be most effective in driving customers to your website. Then when customers arrive, what they encounter immediately drives them away. That’s like spending millions of marketing dollars to draw guests to a hotel, but when they arrive the staff is slow, the elevators don’t work, the roof is leaking and the paint is peeling. It’s unlikely many will stay even one night, which means all that marketing investment is lost.
So, how do you know if your online experience is welcoming visitors or driving them away? One good way is to use your analytics package to get into the details of user behavior online. By analyzing every step in the buyer’s journey, you can determine not only how many visitors your search campaign is drawing, but also what they’re doing when they get there.
A high bounce rate, for example, tells you people are coming to the site but they’re not clicking through it. That could be because your campaign isn’t drawing the right people, or because the right people are having a poor customer experience. A little investigation should help you determine which one is the actual cause.
Now comes the big question: With all of this happening, what do smart marketers need to do to ensure they’re hitting those nearly 82 billion mobile targets? That’s what I will cover in my next post.