Remember the Environment of Mobile Shoppers

In “3 Ways Consumers Use Mobile Commerce,” my article last month, I explained that mobile shoppers typically engage with ecommerce sites while waiting in line, on a work break, or relaxing at home. Two of those situations — on a work break and waiting in line — account for roughly 60 percent of mobile shopping visits in my experience. is a service to buy and sell houses. The site's images and straightforward messaging can engage mobile visitors quickly. is a service to buy and sell houses. The site’s images and straightforward messaging can engage mobile visitors quickly.

It’s vital for retailers to understand the broader setting of mobile sessions. A visitor’s physical environment impacts how she engages with your site and whether she returns.

At Work

Consumers who come to your mobile site while at work are often on a quick break. Small adjustments to the site can capture their attention. Consider the following ideas.

  • Engage quickly. A mobile discovery page doesn’t have to be full of your newest products. It should engage the visitors with videos, insightful articles about your industry, and instructional tips.
  • Improve usability. Make your discovery pages dramatically different from the rest of your site. Increase the photo size of key items to extend edge-to-edge and use more in-depth text to highlight these key products. Focus on showing off your products rather than merely selling them.
  • Use interactive elements. Interactions, such as accordions, sliders, and carousels, can greatly improve engagement and discovery. They make product discovery fun and different, which is what will cause your visitors to remember your company and its products.

Waiting in Line

Visitors to your site who are waiting for, say, an oil charge are typically exploring a thought. Often they are landing on your site for the first time. Think about how and when your site could serve up useful info.

For example, what tools could an automotive parts retailer build to engage a consumer who is having his car repaired or serviced? Ideas could include maintenance tips to minimize repairs, or do-it-yourself tutorials, such as changing air filters. Both could involve buying products from the store.

Ecommerce sites often provide tools for solving online problems, but rarely for offline. Even a simple 3-month reminder to change oil could be helpful.  Ask yourself what sort of problems your target shoppers have, and then solve them.

Supporting tools and how-to articles and videos have the added benefit of driving organic search traffic.

David Shreni
David Shreni
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