Five Metrics To Optimize Mobile Shopping Experience

Optimizing Mobile Shopping Experience

Mobile devices are rapidly displacing the desktop as the primary means to access the web and interact with the world at large. The penetration of these devices has surpassed all expectations and according to a May 2012 mobile research report from Google (link to pdf), 80% of people don’t leave home without their mobile device.

As widespread mobile adoption continues to skyrocket, so then do the expectations associated with the mobile experience. The proliferation of smartphones and tablets across different mobile platforms, mobile web, native app and hybrid apps all add to the complexity retailers face when it comes to delivering the mobile experience that consumers not only expect, but demand.

A recent Harris Interactive survey, commissioned by Tealeaf, revealed that 85% of consumers who had conducted a mobile transaction in the last year expected the experience on their mobile devices to be better than using a laptop or desktop computer. There has never been a more crucial time for retailers to invest in their mobile channels, as the mobile experience has now become far more critical than the desktop experience. Design, functionality and real-time insight all play an integral role in delivering a mobile experience that fosters brand loyalty and evangelism.

Consumers want on-the-go access to retailers via their mobile devices, and this is supported by the surge in mobile transactions over the past couple of years. According to the same May 2012 mobile research report from Google, 62% of people make mobile purchases at least once a month.

Certainly, the design paradigm for mobile is far more stringent than for the desktop. The average width of the human finger has now become the lowest common denominator to be considered. Visual overload is a common problem; simple is now the most desirable outcome.

But how do you measure success? Not surprisingly, creating a simple, streamlined and speedy flow for the consumer drives business. For brands who want to ensure that their mobile transactions continue to flourish, here are five variables to measure/track in order to ensure that the optimal mobile customer experience is taking place.

1. Search function usage within App/mobile web

At the most basic level, a customer on your mobile site or app is trying to find something and then complete a transaction based on the search results. If the search function is not easy to find and use, you have created a real inhibitor for a successful mobile transaction.

2. Pinching/zooming usage during a given interaction

A customer that zooms in and out when the design of the page they are on doesn’t call for that action is a sure sign that they cannot find something they are looking for. Repeated zooms in or out indicate real customer struggle.

3. Average # of keystrokes/clicks per app/site during an interaction

The fewer is obviously better. In the early days of the web, a common maxim was that if a consumer couldn’t find what they were looking for in two clicks, you were likely to lose them. This even more applicable in mobile, where a small screen size reduces the ability and desirability of presenting information that a consumer can act on.

4. Device orientation changes

Device orientation changes, especially a pattern of changes in rapid succession, show a user having trouble seeing a page or entering form field data. We’ve seen a direct correlation between a consumer having to change the orientation of the device and a drop off in conversion.

5. Dwell time on a page or screen

The amount of time a consumer lingers on a particular task or spends viewing a page is frequently a result of an opaque design. The user simply can’t figure out what is happening or what they are supposed to do.

Closing Thoughts

If retailers really want to be successful across their mobile channels, they must realize the value of understanding the entire mobile customer experience. The only way to do this is through analyzing these key performance indicators, identifying customer struggles and frustrations and acting quickly to resolve them.

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