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Customer Intent Has Changed. Have You?

With mobile capabilities in hand, consumer interest can shift to intent almost immediately.

In the past, brands were nowhere near customers when their journey transitioned from interest to intent. Maybe my dad became interested in a pair of great new golf shoes he saw in a magazine, but he didn’t intend to buy them until he saw a buddy wear them on the course. It might be days before he had a chance to drive to the store.

Then we had desktop computers, and brands could put themselves closer to the moment that people moved from interest to intent. Maybe before buying those golf shoes, my dad actually went home, powered up his desktop and searched for a nearby store to see where he could buy those shoes at the best price. This behavior gave brands new opportunities through the measurable customer journey, with a massive digital advertising and marketing industry built to take advantage of it.

Today, it’s me on the course with my dad, and if he likes my golf shoes, I can text him a URL for them and he can buy instantly, or go read reviews about them, all before finishing out the hole. The purchase journey can become almost instant.

In other words, intent has changed. With mobile capabilities in hand, consumer interest can shift to intent almost immediately. And intent can become a purchase any time, anywhere.

Be Ready

Purpose, goal, objective, target. Synonyms of intent make it clear – customers with intent are in control. This evolution is an enormous opportunity for brands. Forrester finds that mobile phones will be used in some way for one third of all purchases in the US in 2018, equalling $1 trillion in sales. Brands can be there when it matters, but to succeed, they have to change.

Brands started with the traditional marketing model: Create a path for a customer, from brand advertisement to the store. Digital taught brands to maximize messaging for each customer “touchpoint” in a more complex journey, from ads, to email, to search to store. Mobile represents the next leap: Marketers must be present when consumers are discovering, researching and purchasing wherever they are.

Bain and Company research finds that people consume 25 percent of their media on mobile, while marketers only spend 13 percent of their budgets on the channel – brands are already underestimating the importance of mobile. But, the bigger issue is that “much of that advertising isn’t suited to the medium.” Consumers have shorter attention spans for ad messages, control their experiences more actively, and are primed to make purchases more immediately.

Mobile requires brands to make some important changes:

Discovery: Refrain from repurposing ads from digital media. Instead, determine how a brand is relevant in a customer’s life. Use search and location information to understand a consumer’s context. Partner with the critical apps that customers use on a regular basis to get in their virtual path. Treat social media like a physical element of their lives, not like a magazine. Most social media pictures are posted on mobile phones while a consumer is on the go.

Research: “Research mode” is a critical step in the intent-driven customer journey. The first encounter a brand might have with a consumer is while she’s in the aisle at the store, deciding between two brands, or when she’s reading a review of your product and the alternatives. Research is more than Google search, ratings and reviews. Research mode is an opportunity to offer a coupon to attract a new customer, to ask if they’d like to talk to a customer service rep, and use insights to improve future interactions.

Purchase: If a customer buys something, it’s the beginning of a relationship, not the end of a transaction. Successful brands reset the “discovery” process at the time of purchase using the new insights to make things personal – with a specific offer if they offer a product review, personalized messages that recommend additional products, or a checkin to make sure the consumer likes the product.

Make It Personal

In the mobile model, the marketer understands that the consumer is going to buy what they like, at any time. In this way, brands interacting with customers become more like a hotel concierge. As a guest experiences a hotel for a few days, they assume the concierge knows they sleep late or that they like to eat poolside. The hotel staff is there to make a guest happy, and that requires a personal understanding of a consumer’s intent.  It’s not surprising that hospitality brands like Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and Ritz Carlton lead the pack in using consumer data to deliver personalized experiences throughout the discovery, purchase and experience process. Ritz Carlton uses their mobile app not only for booking and checking in, but also to personalize a guest’s stay with location-specific offers and QR codes to unlock new experiences.

Other brands can learn from this “hospitality” mindset, or from Omotenashi, the Japanese art of anticipating and fulfilling people’s needs in advance. Rather than blunt force marketing tactics, marketers should obsess over the optimal experience for the consumer.

To personalize a mobile experience, and accommodate customer intent, Shoedazzle puts recent searches for shoes through an algorithm and packages a custom boutique of ideas for the customer. The content is personalized for an intent to purchase, but if someone did buy shoes somewhere else, the information is still relevant and fun to browse.

Adapt To Succeed

Brands can view mobile as a fisherman looking at a rushing river full of fish. If they wade in, they have a fantastic opportunity. But like fish, mobile consumers move fast, and brands need to be ready. Consumers already expect highly personalized experiences. BI Intelligence reported that 54 percent of consumers expect a personalized discount within a day of sharing information with a company, while 34 percent expect it within an hour.  Soon, many consumers will expect immediate satisfaction.

For brands, the best approach is to be there at the right time as the consumer moves from interest to intent to purchase and back again. Brands must take the time to live the life that a consumer lives, see where they go, when they discover, research and buy, and why. The days of brand advertising are waning, and a new era of intent-based marketing is here. It’s time for brands to make the change.

Article written by Michael Jaconi from Entrepreneur.com

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6 M-Commerce Design Practices to Help Improve Your Sales in 2019

Year by year, the e-Commerce landscape is becoming seismically shifted by mobile devices. Since Amazon has launched its shopping app with a mobile reach of 40 percent in 2017, M-Commerce is still gaining momentum.

According to Statista, M-Commerce sales are predicted to make up 44.7% of total US e-Commerce sales in 2019, up from 39.6% in 2018. On the charts below, you can see that the mobile commerce tendency is expected to grow in the upcoming years.

1. Simple, but crucial truth: think mobile-first

Due to the poor mobile user experience which usually results in high bounce rate and short web sessions, you can lose a lot of mobile traffic. Google reported that almost 50% of mobile shoppers never come back after one negative user experience.

How to avoid M-Commerce pitfalls? The first thing is to make design decisions driven by data, not by your design instincts. Explore the M-Commerce design analytics created by other UX designer. This will definitely help you save time when creating a smooth shopping experience.

Another thing to keep this in mind: a mobile app user is not a desktop website user, learn how to convert a website into a mobile app. Don’t try to fit all the information from your desktop website into a mobile app.

People usually scan a web page to get an idea of what the website offers. This psychology works with mobile apps too. Let the user see at a glance what your mobile app is about. You can use a simple layout with a central image followed by a list of categories below it. One shining example is Jimmy Choo’s mobile app, a famous luxury shoes and bags brand.

Jimmy Choo mobile ecommerce app

The world is moving rapidly and we don’t want to spend the time on unnecessary things. Taking the above-mentioned approach, you will simply save your mobile app users’ time and let them easily understand what kind of products they can expect to find on a website.

2. Be touch-friendly and use in-app gestures

It’s better not to irritate users with insufficient space between the different touch elements within your content. It’s advisable to keep elements nearly 7×7 mm size while making the separators between them at 2×2 mm visually. It makes it easier for users to tap.

Mobile eCommerce concept


Mobile eCommerce concept by Alex Khoroshok.

The masterful use of in-app gestures in the mobile shopping experience is paramount too. All people are familiar with gestures like double tapping and pinching in order to zoom in to images on mobile.

These gestures play a great role in your e-Commerce success. When people are going to spend their money, they become even more attentive than usual. They are concerned with the smallest details and want to thoroughly inspect the product. And if there is no opportunity to zoom…Oops! Just be ready to miss a prospective customer.

That’s true, he or she was interested in purchasing your product, but, sadly to say, they just went to another store where they can explore a similar product by zooming.

3. Make, but don’t break, your UX with the micro-interactions

People like to “like”, give the assessment, and leave feedback. And they also like to investigate how others react to a certain product. Simply give your users the opportunity to do it with the micro-interactions in your app. Follow human nature, and it will make your e-Commerce app more successive.

Product color selection micro-interaction


Product color selection micro-interaction. Design by Mykolas Puodziunas.

You can use micro-interactions to guide a user through the app in a more intuitive way. Another thing is that smoother and more natural interactions can help reduce shopper anxiety and boost overall psychological comfort.

Micro-interactions can be used for preventing future errors and providing immediate feedback to users based on the activities they’ve completed.

4. Make the mobile app user’s life easier with Auto-Suggestion

The designer’s main mission is to make things convenient, intuitively understood and beautiful. So a simple thing such as an auto-suggestion can help your customers find the products on your store more easily.

Search with auto-suggestion


Search with auto-suggestion in Etsy’s and Toys R Us applications.

There is one thing all of us hate – filling forms, especially when it comes to long credit card numbers. You can improve your app’s usability by using card-type auto-detection. This will help to streamline the purchasing process providing immediate feedback for supported card types. Try to automate as many data entry processes as possible. It’ll reflect positively on your conversion rate.

5. Create a feeling of security in your mobile e-Commerce application

Security is a number one thing customers are concerned with when providing their credit card details. Even if your mobile app is super-secure but your UI design doesn’t reflect it somehow, your customers will still feel uncomfortable and insecure.

Make your design convey a feeling of security using lock symbols. They communicate the assurance to customers that their transactions are secure. 

When designing the UI of transaction processes use words like “proceed”, “secure”, and “encrypted” to reduce user anxiety.

Don’t forget about the power of color psychology! We are visual creatures. Color is the first thing we perceive and our subconsciousness translates it into some feeling, positive or negative. You can evoke a feeling of trust and security applying the right combination of audience-oriented and gender-specific colors.

6. Build a simple, smooth, and speedy mobile checkout

28% of lost sales happen because of unfriendly checkout processes. A person is ready and willing to pay – don’t make him/her abandon just because the checkout process in your mobile application is too long and complicated.

Let’s consider an example of Zalora’s mobile checkout. There are just three simple steps:

 Zalora mobile checkout

The next most important thing in a mobile checkout is not to ask a user to create an account before purchasing. You can significantly reduce cart abandonment rates by designing a fast checkout process and not asking users to register first.

To provide psychological comfort for a user, use visual representations like progress bars and let users see their progress in the checkout process.

Conclusion

M-Commerce is fastly growing and it’s important to stay ahead with the renovated UI/UX design strategy for your e-Commerce mobile application. The proof is in the numbers: online store owners can’t afford to neglect mobile commerce in 2019.

Optimizing your online store for mobile you will be able to offer to your prospective customers a better omnichannel shopping experience that will positively impact the conversion rates.

When rethinking your mobile commerce, keep security and user experience top of mind.

We hope these design practices will help you see how your M-Commerce is growing in the shortest time.

Article by Dana Kachan on SpeckyBoy.com

Amazon To Take Over 45% of E-Commerce In 2017

After ten years of expanding their categories list and features to its platform, Amazon is taking over the e-commerce world! Just 10 companies (Apple, The Home Depot, Best Buy, Macy’s, Wayfair, Costco and QVC) and of course Amazon, eBay and Walmart already account for almost two-thirds of the overall U.S. e-commerce sales.

According to eMarketer and the U.S Commerce Department’s research, even as retail giants have worked hard to build their e-commerce and multi-channel operations, online retail is still below by 10% of all retail sales.

The narrowness of e-commerce might be the reason as to why Amazon has been actively expanding its brick and mortar play, by opening more bookstores and also buying up grocery giant Whole Foods this year. Followed by pop-up stores and also a few convenient shops. There is definitely an undeniable synergy between online and physical stores. Brick and mortar stores are helping boost the e-commerce sales, with the help of services like in store pick up of orders made online and also the marketing value of a physical location in a given area.

eMarketer said that regardless of eBay’s second place ranking, it is left as a considerable disadvantage. The site has low to no growth and losing share at the same time. Compared to eBay, Amazon’s sales were six times more according to eMarketer.

Businesses often underestimate the expense of e-commerce retail. This definitely applies to e-commerce giant, Amazon. Amazon, spends billions of dollars a year just on shipping fees, but unlike its other business rivals, Amazon has a lucrative cloud service business that is earning them huge profits. On the other hand, Amazon has been around for more than 20 years but isn’t very profitable relative to its sales.

Experts are increasingly taking to account the damage the shift to e-commerce is causing on retail margins. Adding to tepid sales overall, “the shift to the variable -cost model of e-commerce from the fixed-cost store model only continues to suppress operating margins for the sector,” said Moody’s Investors Service.

The undetermined cost model will only undermine digital growth at some point, according to retail analyst Nick Egelanian, He also said, “when shipping costs are fully allocated to the consumer some time in the future, we will see the rate of internet sales growth sharply decline,” in an email to Retail Dive.

 

Article originally by Retail Dive, written by Daphne Howland on the 25th October 2017

Apple and Google Pull Hundreds Of Trading Apps From Stores Over Fears Of Financial Scams

In this day and age, it seems that more and more people are falling prey and losing their hard earned money to many financial scams and trading apps that are mushrooming all over the place. This is evident from the many ads, apps and sites that are popping up everywhere promising lucrative returns and fast money.

Last week, an investigation published by The Independent revealed that thousands of people, particularly pensioners, could be falling for binary options scams every year.

Apple and Google have removed hundreds of trading apps from their online stores after an intervention by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to crack down on online fraud.

In a statement on Tuesday, ASIC said it had conducted a sweeping review of mobile app stores focusing on those associated with so-called binary options trading. It said that the review highlighted over 330 apps that were offered by entities and individuals that appeared to be unlicensed.

A total of 63 per cent of those examined were offered by so-called binary option issuers and facilitated trading.

Binary options platforms encourage investors to make apparently simple bets on whether shares or currencies will rise or fall in value over time. Many such platforms are legitimate, but an increasing number have been popping up across Australia, the UK and elsewhere that are fraudulent.

All binary options trading platforms currently fall outside the control of financial regulators in the UK, meaning that people have little recourse to get their money back if they feel they have been scammed.

Last week, an investigation published by The Independent revealed that thousands of people, particularly pensioners, are likely being scammed every year.

On Tuesday, ASIC said that it was particularly concerned because many of the mobile app descriptions contained statements that “appeared to be misleading about the profitability of trading and the amount of profit that could be made”.

One said that users could “earn up to 90 per cent in less than an hour”. Another claimed to generate “around 85 per cent profitable signals from the top traders to guarantee the safe trading”.

The regulator said that the majority of these apps failed to outline the risks of trading binary options, with 80 per cent having no risk warning at all. It added that some binary option reviews or education sites were “merely collecting personal information which could be used for high-pressure cold calling”.

ASIC said that in light of the review it had contacted Apple and Google and was encouraged “with the speed both entities removed the relevant apps identified by ASIC from their respective app stores”.

The regulator also issued a reminder to consumers that binary option providers “are in control of the pricing for their product”.

“On reviewing some of the comments that appeared with the apps, it seemed that some investors made money in the demo mode but lost money once they moved to a live trading system,” it said.

Commissioner Cathie Armour described the report as “a timely reminder for investors to remain vigilant and not fall for flashy advertising or hard selling”.

“Investors also need to make sure any financial service provider, regardless of the way that financial service is being provided, is adequately licensed and authorised to provide those services,” she said.

“In an age where technology can hide who is offering and controlling a product, buyer beware has never been so important. If something appears too good to be true, it probably is.”

In the year to May 2016 in the UK, the most recent for which figures are available, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, which is part of the City of London Police, reported having received 305 reports of binary options scams, or 27 each month.

A lawyer representing victims told The Independent, however, that the true number is likely to be significantly higher – as victims are frequently too embarrassed to come forward and admit to being conned.