Sramana Mitra: Let’s double-click down on that. What are some of the key user experience trends in mobile shopping that your customers need to pay attention to?
Kevin Eichelberger: One of the metrics that still trail behind is the conversion rate for mobile devices. Yes, it is true that more people shop over a mobile device but it is also true that more people purchase on a desktop or laptop device. You have to ask yourself the question as to what is the reason for it. If more people are naturally gravitating towards using mobile devices, why aren’t they completing the purchase at that moment? The big challenge is continuing to understand the modality of people when they’re on their mobile devices – what are they thinking, what are their motivations?
First of all, we have to appreciate and understand that it’s not always the same as the behaviour on a desktop device. We have a large group of customers engaging with us on a mobile device, yet we are very ineffective at converting them into customers. That is a big area that we’ve seen improvements over the past several years. Until it matches the rate at which people convert on desktops or laptops, it’s still lacking in terms of its effectiveness. Mobile shopping effectiveness is a big challenge today for many organizations. If you think about how we create user experiences and what that process looks like, there’s still much to be desired.
Sramana Mitra: What did you say was the percentage of people who shopped on mobile and converted on desktop?
Kevin Eichelberger: I don’t have the statistics in front of me. In general, 2016 was the first year where more than 50% of shoppers of total users on e-commerce websites were browsing on mobile devices. The conversion rate of mobile is typically about one-third that of desktop users. For every 100 desktop users, maybe you get three purchases.
For every 100 mobile users, you might get one purchase. That number is trailing significantly behind the performance of desktop and laptop users. That gap is narrowing each year but narrowing piece by piece. I think there are some big opportunities about how that can be further refined and narrowed in terms of the performance of mobile shopping versus the performance of desktop and laptop shopping.
Sramana Mitra: How do you advise your clients given that scenario? In the case of your own clients, what are some of the levers that you push to try to bridge that gap?
Kevin Eichelberger: In general, I would say that most shoppers are going to follow the path of least resistance as it pertains to how they acquire what they’re looking for. The reality is purchasing on a mobile device has more friction than purchasing on a laptop device. If you just stop and think for yourself. Many people exhibit this same behavior. They will actually browse on their phone and look around. When they want to make a purchase, they’ll pull out their laptop and purchase from their laptop. It’s this odd phenomenon.
It pinpoints to a specific area that is a large point of friction. That is the checkout process. The checkout process on a mobile device is very difficult. Filling out a checkout form field by field using your thumbs on a tiny device is cumbersome. It’s so cumbersome that someone would rather pull out a laptop and purchase it. They’ll still type in the same information. They just have a keyboard on their hands and a bigger screen to look at.