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e-Commerce Industry News


January 15, 2016
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5 features your mobile store needs
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January 15, 2016
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Building a top-notch mobile experience for your customer isn't rocket science. In fact, it's pretty simple. By following a few sound practices, you can make it easy as pie to harness the power of mobile. Building a top-notch mobile experience for
your customer isn't rocket science. In fact,
it's pretty simple. By following a few
sound practices, you can make it easy as
pie to harness the power of mobile.
Building a top-notch mobile experience for your customer isn't rocket science. In fact, it's pretty simple. The best eCommerce platforms make it easy to put together a mobile-optimized version of your online store. By following a few sound practices, you can make it easy as pie to harness the power of mobile. Even if you already have a mobile site, it might be worth optimizing it further to give customers what they want more effectively.

The Episerver Mobile Commerce Benchmark Report 2015 identified the top features users want from a mobile eCommerce experience. Let's break those features down and talk about how they could be implemented in your online store.

1. User reviews
The majority of eCommerce customers expect to see user reviews on a mobile store. Reviews are helpful for customers, because they make the product search step easier by aggregating consumer thoughts on the product. It's important for consumers to know if they're about to buy a lemon, and arguably even more important on mobile, where smaller screen sizes and faster purchase cycles mean that consumers should have reviews readily at hand to help them make informed decisions.

User reviews help build credibility in the eyes of the customer: They show that a product is good enough that buyers are willing to describe it in their own words. Reviews often represent a more useful tool than product descriptions, as they're able to give a more nuanced, realistic, tested-in-real-life recommendation for an item. Supplying customer ratings is a great way to convince users to choose a product.

2. Easy customer support
The second most popular feature that customers want on mobile is convenient customer support. Getting good customer support is a key facet of any eCommerce website, but on mobile it is a particularly big want because, again, the smaller screen sizes and shorter shopping spans on smartphones make support a necessity. And if support is necessary, accessing service on the go is necessary for busy consumers.

3. Automatic screen size adaptation
Smartphone users all have experienced poorly-designed mobile sites. Their devices display elements too large, or too cluttered, and no amount of pinching, zooming, scrolling or rotating will fix it. Sometimes, efforts to do that only make the problem worse. Bad mobile design drives away customers, and that'll have an effect on their future business with your site, even on the desktop.

Practicing responsive design is something we've discussed before, and its effect cannot be understated. Making sure that a website works on a variety of screen sizes and formats and can automatically adapt to fit those screens is important for giving your customers the best mobile eCommerce experience they can ask for.

4. Location functions or maps
While this is especially true for brick-and-mortar businesses, it's a good idea for mobile eCommerce operators to take advantage of location awareness. Smartphones are equipped with GPS, so it's trivial to query a user's location. When there, you can show that individual local deals, estimated shipping costs, and accurate catalogs. Location-aware online stores are better able to tailor the eCommerce experience to the customer.

5. Wish lists
Wish lists are popular tools for users to help them keep track of products they want to buy. Giving them a page on your mobile storefront for their wish lists not only lets them save and curate products that they haven't yet purchased, it anchors the idea of purchasing those items to your online store.

To give your mobile customers a tool to further customize their buying experience and help them better organize the vast ocean of items available to them, consider adding wish list functionality. It's a simple and convenient way to give your customers a reason to come back to your store.