Creating a great digital shopping experience used to be easy. Your visitors connected with you through their desktop computers, allowing you to create a single, focused experience for everyone. As long as your site worked well and looked good, you could be competitive in the ecommerce game.
And then the iPhone and powerful smartphones came along and all hell broke loose. If your company didn’t have a powerful mobile site, and later a tablet site, it was an antique. Instead of creating a single, powerful point of entry for your customers, you now need to manage and optimize three user experiences.
The problem isn’t the general usability of these three formats, but rather the disjointed shopper experience they create. Today’s shoppers may visit the same site from a variety of devices, but the sites aren’t smart enough to recognize that it’s the same person looking for the same items. Instead, it treats the visitor as three different people. This is a gigantic missed opportunity to provide a continuity in the shopping experience for the customer, and it results in broken, confusing and misleading data points for the retailer.
The solution to this disjointed shopping experience and retailer data confusion is a 1 to 1 commerce platform. It can not only solve the challenges of multiple digital retail formats, but also dramatically increase your conversions and revenue in the process.
1 to 1 Commerce Solution’s Device Advantage
An ecommerce site that can recognize users as they switch from casual, small-screen browsing on their smartphones to the more focused, purchase-ready session on their tablets and desktops has a huge advantage over the competition. Rather than think of each device session as a standalone entity, you can now treat each smartphone, tablet, and desktop as stepping stones used by the same individual during their path to purchase.
Seeing your customers through the lens of a 1 to 1 commerce solution provides a new perspective on how today’s consumers shop.
Why are smartphone conversion rates low, even as overall smartphone traffic surges? Simple. A smartphone isn’t a great shopping device. People use their smartphones on the go, in situations that are filled with distractions. They’re great for looking up simple product details or making a price comparison, but the small screen simply isn’t conducive to viewing a broad selection of items. A smartphone user may be engaged by what they see, but they’re probably not ready to buy.
Without 1 to 1 commerce, that highly revealing customer browsing data is lost. Did a customer search for related items that would make for an easy upsell later? Did they look at a specific size of TV, explore products from a specific brand, or browse a certain color of sweater? Without that direct connection across devices, countless opportunities to increase profit are needlessly lost.
Many ecommerce retailers make the mistake of thinking of tablets as larger smartphones. In terms of shopping habits and conversion rates, tablets have much more in common with desktops. A shopper who begins their path to purchase with a price check on their smartphone may very well continue it, or even complete it, on the larger screen of their tablet.
If there’s no 1 to 1 commerce connection between these two shopping sessions, the retailer loses vital clues for relevant product suggestions and personalized search results. Instead of treating the customer as a return visitor, many sites treat them as a stranger. Imagine the power of being able to recognize the customer from their smartphone to their tablet, showing them the same products and items they were browsing previously from the moment they arrive at the site.
The desktop shopping experience is still the backbone of ecommerce. It’s the primary channel for purchases, with the highest conversion rate. The desktop should therefore not be neglected, despite the proliferation of smartphones and tablets.
As a variety of devices fragment user data, however, the desktop path-to-purchase isn’t as as clear as it once was. That data still exists, it just needs to be connected through a true 1 to 1 commerce solution. When the site can recognize a user through smartphone and tablet visits, the desktop session can now use that data to help direct shoppers as they make their purchases. Handled correctly, this can have a huge impact on the add-to-carts, order sizes and overall profit per order.
1 to 1 commerce is the Backbone
If you believe your ecommerce site is ahead of the curve simply because your site has a mobile-friendly responsive design, it’s time to rethink your strategy. Today’s ecommerce world is a customer-centric place, and to thrive you need a strategy that works not only on every device, but across all of them.
A true 1 to 1 commerce solution enables you to follow individual shoppers throughout their shopping journey, guiding their experience no matter how they visit your site. The results — from better conversions to double-digit revenue increases — speak for themselves.
Kurt Heinemann is CMO of Reflektion.