As the high street continues to flounder, it has never been more important for retailers to optimise their online content across multiple platforms and devices to appeal to changing consumer consumption habits.
As Google eloquently put it, we are now living in a ‘Multi-Screen World,’ with 67% of people using multiple devices sequentially when shopping online. It is therefore vital that companies operating online, evaluate their content strategies, whilst realising they have to maintain the brand consistency across those channels.
To fulfil revenue predictions and growth plans, online retailers must increase their digital footprint by utilising the potential of multi-screen technology with innovative and targeted content. Research conducted by E-Consultancy found that mobile sites have proven more popular than apps and consumers are more likely to make purchases via mobile sites. Keeping “Call to Actions” and design very simple is the key to an optimised mobile site and don’t overrun the consumer with unnecessary banner adverts or unreadable fonts. Also, optimise buttons in the right size and colours, so that if the consumer wants to purchase, they can!
A good example of this is Debenhams. Their customer adoption across multi- channels tells you that mobile consumption is soaring. Generically online sales were up 40% in the last 16 weeks to 22nd June 2013, with mobile visits compared to the same period last year, up 85%. The key message here is that Debenhams, with having multiscreen channels have made content more engaging, relevant and social, therefore benefiting from the way their consumers are using multiple devices.
A smooth and uninterrupted online experience is also essential to deliver retailers a filled shopping cart and a completed purchase. For example, ensure that your hosting service can support mobile traffic and seasonal changes in demand across channels. Likewise, consumers often move from one screen to another as they research their purchases. This again demonstrates the basic necessity for cross-screen optimisation of eCommerce sites, as well as an underlying robust infrastructure.
Brands can essentially monetise consumer motivations and impulses through a varied and distributed retail model, utilising apps, interactive functions and innovative visual content. Ensuring websites can support these functions from a hosting perspective whilst also delivering consistently fast page loading times across devices will likely reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts. On average consumers spend more time researching a product online and comparing prices before purchasing, making it essential for content to be unique and appropriate to both the target audience and the device they are using.
To encourage consumer trust and repeat purchase behaviour, it is essential that all of your payment security guidelines, across devices, are fully compliant with the PCI DSS standards. This ensures that consumers are protected from fraudulent activity, including the unauthorised use of credit and debit card information. Most importantly, however it allows retailers to avoid the irreparable reputational damage and financial costs associated with a breach in data security.
Multi-device offerings are dramatically changing the retail landscape, arguably for the better. Retail websites should be viewed as an interactive catalogue with a limited number of steps to purchase, to increase the chance of conversion. Apps are a valuable tool when meeting this requirement and form a key element within a distributed eCommerce model, while also promoting quick, simple and reliable access on a smartphone, laptop or tablet.
Brands and retailers that are embracing the power of multi-screen and smart content will be leading the eCommerce revolution. With 90% of all our media interactions now being screen based, and the recent stats by IMRG that 1 in 5 UK e-tail sales coming through a mobile device, it has never been so important.