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Retailers need to think mobile commerce metrics

Retailers should forget about the lower sales conversion rates on mobile and instead focus on delivering the best customer experience based on the objectives of shopper journeys on specific devices. By Glynn Davis


Retailers need to think mobile commerce metrics

This is the view of Darryl Adie, managing director of Ampersand Commerce – that works with Poundland, Harvey Nichols and Benson Beds, who believes the concern that some retailers have over the lower conversion rates achieved on mobile devices when compared with desktop and tablets “misses the point”.

Many people just look at the store locator on their mobiles so this would change things a lot when calculating conversion rates. If you look at e-commerce in isolation [of individual device types] then you lose the concept of removing silos. Conversion rate is not a great indicator. Customer experience is more important. A site should be measured on other goals like finding a store rather than just on sales,” he explains.

Adie says retailers should be more focused on the intent of the customer on the individual devices they are using and for this reason he prefers to develop adaptive sites for Ampersand’s clients rather than responsive websites. “I’m not an exponent of responsive – in terms of the same site on all devices – because customers want different things on different devices,” says Adie.

He cites the example of Harvey Nichols that chose not to sell Christmas hampers on mobiles because of the complicated journey involved and instead recommended customers contact the relevant person at the company. Or make the purchase on their desktop.

Adaptive sites work for particularly complicated journeys. Rather than forcing a difficult experience on shoppers Harvey Nichols suggested they purchased hampers a different way. You need to look at the intent of the shopper and not just look at selling goods,” says Adie.

He also suggests apps are most suited to retailers where the typical customer makes regular purchases (at least once per month) such as Amazon, Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser. In contrast, for the likes of Bensons for Beds it would be less relevant. 

For its frequency of customer transactions an app for Primark would be “right on” suggests Adie especially since they could ‘push’ out information about products, which would suit the company’s business model of having scarcity and immediacy of product lines.

But Primark has chosen not to operate online and Adie says this is likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future: “It needs a culture change for e-commerce to be seen as the equal of the stores. The business is well oiled in the way it gets goods to customers – in its stores. To create parity between e-commerce and stores could change the business. It would need lots of thought.

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