Ecommerce traffic is shifting. Forrester projects that retail sales on smartphones and tablets will total $115bn in 2015 and $252bn in the US by 2020.

However, according to its recent survey: “There is a big disconnect between traffic and sales on mobile devices. While 47% of traffic comes from mobile devices, only 28% of sales do. This is in large part because of problems with the mobile experience.”

With more traffic shifting to mobile it is becoming increasingly important for organizations to work cross-functionally across creative and user experience design teams, content marketing teams, digital merchandizers, and optimization experts, as well as IT and commerce, to plan ways to improve mobile conversion rates.

To see the significance of this, consider the following scenario.

Suppose your average monthly traffic is 100m visitors per month and monthly revenue is $100m.

If your average monthly mobile traffic is 40% of desktop, but your conversion rate on mobile is only 25% of the conversion rate on desktop (for instance 2% on desktop, 0.5% on mobile), and your average order value on mobile is only half that of desktop, you are missing a big growth opportunity.

By increasing your mobile conversion conservatively from 0.5% to 0.75%, holding all other factors steady, you could increase your monthly revenue by almost 4% - close to $4m per month, or a $46m annual lift.

So, how do you get this mobile conversion boost in your organization?

1. Customer experience matters

One of the biggest barriers to conversion on mobile is the same as on desktop: Confidence in the products or services you are offering.

Since customers can’t physically touch or feel the product online or discuss options with a salesperson in the way they could in the store, it is important to provide as much visual detail as possible by allowing the customer to intuitively touch to zoom in on product details, view alternate angles, or watch a short video describing more about the product or services being offered.

From data we've collected from retail customers we work with, we find there is a correlation between customers who zoom in on product details and increases in conversion for those customers, by 300% on average.

There is a similar correlation in data between those who watch all or part of video and increases in conversion for those customers by as much as 200% on average.

Yet, during an informal survey of mobile sites we found that many brands are not handling this challenge well.

Typically, we would find high-quality product zoom and videos on desktop-optimized sites.

However, on a brand’s mobile site we might instead find a “fake” zoom experience where the same product image simply takes up more of the mobile screen, presenting a low-quality, pixelated rendition of the product details, and no video at all.

By experimenting with offering richer visual experiences on mobile, using dynamic rich media that is optimized for mobile devices, you may find a way to boost mobile conversion.

2. Identify areas of improvement

Let's look at how a few leading online businesses are solving this. The rich visual aspects of Vera Bradley’s mobile shopping experience is on par with desktop – offering multiple angles and views of each handbag, as well as high quality, touch-optimized, in-line zoom to view even the smallest details in fabric color and stitching.

You can watch the bags spin around in a 3D effect and even watch short video clips of happy people wearing them.

On a mobile screen the image is not just downsized. It is re-cropped to keep the product as a prominent center of interest, and the image quality and performance is superb.

Other e-retailers have similar features. Mothercare.com and chainreactioncycles.com both offer rich media viewing experiences with multiple images of their products shot from various angles with full photo-realistic, touch-optimized zoom on their product detail pages viewed on mobile screens.

Mobile optimized image rendering is done dynamically on the server and then cached, so mobile page load time remains fast.

3. Evolve your experience and watch for improved results

Modern content delivery systems are integrated with analytics, so it is easy to identify areas where you may be able to improve your mobile experience to drive improved conversion results.

From there you can run a test to see whether mobile conversion does indeed rise with each improvement you make.

For example, if you notice that your data shows a correlation to higher conversion rates when customers watch a video on your desktop-optimized site, but don’t yet have video on mobile, add video for a portion of your mobile site traffic and watch for improved results.

You don't have to sacrifice mobile performance or budget to get this level of visual experience.

Dynamic media technology enables device-optimized rich media delivery at scale – allowing user experience and ecommerce teams to design and deliver consistent viewing experiences to any screen.

Vebeka Guess

Published 26 October, 2015 by Vebeka Guess

Vebeka Guess is a product marketing manager for Adobe Experience Manager. You can connect with her via LinkedIn.

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Comments (2)

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Ben Rowley, Digital Planning Manager

Does anyone have a 2015 or forcasted 2016 industry average mobile conversion rate?

over 2 years ago

Jenna Ochoa

Jenna Ochoa, Director of Marketing at Blue Stout

Thanks for the insight, Vebeka. I'd agree that the most important thing is to "evolve" in your mobile strategy. We always tell clients to edit, edit, edit - whatever steps you can take out in your customer's purchase journey - do it! You can see other "best practices" we recommend for mobile conversion rate optimization here: http://bluestout.com/blog/mobile-ecommerce-conversion-rate-optimization/

over 2 years ago

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