The holiday season is a dream season for both the marketer and the buyer. After getting exhausted with Black Friday weekend shopping, shoppers use their high-speed connections to finish their shopping list online. It has been observed by the merchants that shoppers are more inclined towards using different digital channels for shopping and other purposes. Reasons could be numerous, for an increased mobile and mobile app popularity i.e. privacy, time that they take to select, direct connect to the preferred product app etc.
Since past few years, holiday shopping has been reflecting the change in trends. Online website and mobile app sales have increased as compared to the conventional store sales. Mobile and apps happen to be seizing the huge amount of online traffic. Merchants have realized the potential of digital media and have been investing into the same yet the investment goes uneven.
If we evaluate merchant experiences from the shopper's point of view, with digital gift cards, and personalization we will learn some things about their retail channels. It seems that if they are looking forward to scoring the best shopping deals with less stress then they should focus on the different channels of different products.
Speaking about personalized experience then desktops have been considered a better choice as compared to other platforms. Recommended products will grow as per browsing history where shoppers might have missed a step to complete the purchase may trigger follow up emails for free shipping, additional discounts etc. Past search history will be saved so that a shopper can go back and find out the item which they liked earlier but did not make a purchase.
There are many tools implemented by the merchants to help and personalize their desktop web pages, yet these tools have not been taken to the mobile platform. There are few retailers who happen to optimize the personalization differently for mobile shopping experience which certainly comes with the lower rate of conversion. They do more optimization for desktop shopping where the conversion rate happens to be higher. This clearly means that you may see different and fewer product recommendations on the mobile web as compared to the desktop website.
If you are anticipating the faster experience they focus on trying retailer’s mobile website first. It could be a view of many users that desktop website would give faster experience while the retailers have started mobile optimization. They have done this to be after and match the low bandwidths regardless of the fact that they know it is not the best experience and can be stuck in case it does not receive a better network approach.
This kind of streamlining works best in case you are not actually focused on buying something, though a customer stands at the disadvantage side when it comes to browsing. This simply means that as a user you would have to narrow down your filters for a specific product again, which calls for an increased amount of time as compared to the desktop webpage. So, the conclusion is over a mobile web you will receive a limited number of picks but you would be able to see less options then you can find on the desktop.
Deals within mobile App
Mobile apps are not very popular in the merchant circles as they realize that customers are quite reluctant to add more apps in their mobile phones for just of it. But again, there are instances where mobile apps have shown the brighter side. Merchants have been actively providing attractive and unique shopping App offers to the mobile app wallets and more of them are using an ‘in-Store’ mode to give the shoppers access to in-store deals which gets delivered via the mobile app. As per the merchants, websites are for the customer acquisition and mobile apps are for customer retention. True that, customer retention increases if they happen to be happy with the store mobile apps. A shopper asks for nothing except service at their doorstep which should not accompany any sort of extra stress. If merchants happen to invest more in flooring the customer attention then certainly, it is worth to get a mobile app to pull out more benefits.
Let’s figure out where exactly merchants have been investing to provide the best experience and where they didn’t.
There is a better way to analyze that if a retailer is personalizing the website experience which is, first access the site via private browser window and search for your preferred products. Try this again while you are logged in to your account. Try this on both mobile and desktop website, you may check for
If the website is trying for auto-complete your search terms? Sometimes it is more evident on the mobile websites, the reason being users happen to type at a slow speed on a mobile platform as compared to the desktops.
Secondly, does the website remembers previous searches? You can check for this in the autocomplete of the search bar, on the page itself. On some merchant site home pages it is down at the bottom of the page and same happens for the product detail page. Over a mobile device, some merchants will showcase the past history or they will limit the results in order to provide the better and speed up experience
When you will search for a term and the website shows you the results, check if you noticed any change in the listing order on a desktop vs. mobile. There are few brands who have landed into the trouble for ‘Personalizing’ the results based on the browser search history earlier. This applies to mobile phone vs desktop or even tablets also. So, always check if you experience the same results on all the devices.
Check with the recommended products on product detail pages on all the devices. After you have viewed some products go back to the homepage. Check if that changes the images on the home page . Check if the order of the images or the content also changes, in most of the cases it does not change. But the merchants actually do the detailed personalization generally based on the type of device you are using and mostly in the name of faster mobile experience.
Most of the merchants are offering wallets and offers as a part of the user account. All this is comprised of an account or the preference section of the site and that depends on the retailer. With mobile app check for the store locator, this is the place where most of the merchants will introduce ‘in-store’ shopping mode to you. Mobile apps have evolved and are apt to offer scan to check with the price, scan and buy to locate different colors or sizes. Few merchants have invested in beacons that will speak directly to your mobile app and serve with different or maybe extra deals which is not a regular behavior.
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Let’s try and do not let the assumptions shadow our thoughts that every time shopping experience is going to be the regardless of the fact how you connect with the merchant. Each merchant is different and if you are looking for better user and shopping experience than figure out the best for you mode first.