From left: Christopher Sater, Chrome Partnerships, Google and Peter Sheldon Senior Director, Strategy, Magento.

Jan 15 2019

NRF 2019: How Retailers Can Optimize Their Mobile Web Experience

Web capabilities have skyrocketed in recent years, and user expectations have risen right alongside them.

As consumers become more comfortable using their smartphones for everything from dating to shopping, mobile web continues on a steep incline.

“Mobile [web traffic] today accounts for over 30 percent of all revenue,” noted Peter Sheldon, the senior director of strategy at Magento, an Adobe company, during a presentation at NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show in New York City on Monday, Jan. 14. “The opportunity for [mobile commerce] is here now, and that shift from desktop to mobile is accelerating.”

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But the mobile experience is far from perfect, something retailers must reckon with because, as mobile use grows, the expectations for what mobile retail sites can deliver has also grown, particularly when it comes to speed. In this day and age, shoppers have little patience for slow websites: As sites take longer to load, bounce rates rise and dwell times fall significantly. This can leave sales on the table when it comes to e-commerce, as slow sites mean less engaged shoppers.

While improving mobile site speeds may seem like strictly an IT problem, it’s an issue that often runs much deeper.

“Performance is not just an engineering problem — in a lot of organizations, it’s an organizational problem,” said Christopher Sater, strategic partner development manager at Google. When performance is relegated to a few engineers, it’s usually not enough to combat the problem and can often make it worse.

“The most successful web retailers today have cross-functional teams that are taking responsibility for the web experience, including performance,” said Sater.

4 Tips Drive Improvements in the Mobile Web Experience

So, as user expectations rise for mobile web, how can retailers build a framework for improvement throughout their organization? Sater offered four tips to help brands do just that:

  1. Focus on the user: E-commerce might be complicated, but a brand’s users don’t need to know that. “[A retailer’s] job is to understand your users’ goals and help them get there more quickly,” said Sater.
  2. Strive to connect every step of the way: Engage with shoppers on all stages of the shopping journey, and on every device.
  3. Remove friction: Reducing pain points or areas where users can easily move away from the experience will likely drive them to act.
  4. Make the customer experience everyone’s responsibility: Holding everyone in the organization accountable for the user experience on the web will help to accelerate both connecting with the customer and removing friction, Sater noted.

Keep this page bookmarked for articles from the event. Follow us on Twitter at @BizTechMagazine, or the official conference Twitter account, @NRFBigShow, and join the conversation using the hashtag #NRF2019.


Juliet Van Wagenen

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