Mobile commerce is expected to grow nearly 50% in the next four years.
But even with the rapid rate of tablet and smartphone technology, there are still many advantages of web over mobile for creating a seamless online shopping experience. This is strongly reflected in the still lagging mobile conversion and purchase rates—mobile’s conversion rate lags over 3.5x behind desktop. With consumers spending more and more of their online time on mobile, brands are turning to content generated by their customers to improve the mobile shopping performance.
Mobile commerce still lags significantly behind desktop when it comes to e-commerce.
- Mobile conversion is generally terrible (0.6% conversion on smartphones in 2013 vs. 2.2% conversion on desktop)
- Consumers rate mobile as the “most difficult” method for completing an online purchase compared to other purchasing channels
- Customers rarely make purchases through mobile devices, and when they do, transactions made on mobile are on average much smaller.
Some reasons for mobile’s low reviews include:
- Low bandwidth that limits photos and load times
- Small screen that clutters and/or eliminates information
- Difficulty in mobile app downloads
User-generated content from social media has become a valuable resource to combatting the mobile commerce chasm. For one, your customers are using social media on mobile (social media usage from mobile increased 23% in 2014.) They are browsing and posting pictures across social channels on their mobile devices. This means that when it comes to using their phones– your customers are mostly being exposed by content generated by their friends and/or influencers they follow. By displaying customer photos within native shopping apps and on mobile e-commerce websites, your brand can begin to bridge the customer experience gap between social media and mobile commerce.
So what are the general takeaways to why customer photos and social media content are so effective at improving the mobile shopping experience?
- Consumers are accustomed to seeing social photos from their mobile devices
- Integrating social content into mobile commerce helps connect the shopping experience to the larger consumer mobile behavior
- Customer photos are incredibly engaging and offer strong social proof of brands and products
- User-generated content is more engaging than custom or stock photography
Kenneth Cole and Charlotte Russe place user-generated content on their mobile sites to enhance the customer shopping experience.
Social media plays a large role in improving the mobile experience and can be more than a channel for customer engagement. Customer photos can be leveraged to help personalize the mobile shopping experience and offer strong social proof of your brand and products. By integrating user-generated content into native apps and mobile web, your brand will begin to move the needle to drive higher mobile conversion rates and sales.
Kyle Wong is the CEO & Co-Founder of Pixlee, a SaaS platform that helps brands leverage customer photos to improve marketing. Kyle has been featured in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 List and is a regular speaker and domain expert on influencer marketing and driving consumer engagement through social media.