October 31, 2019
Mobile is changing the way people research and eventually purchase products and services. Indeed, the speed, simplicity, and evolving features and functionality of the devices we use have transformed the buying experience and mobile commerce is finally moving to the mainstream.
In fact, Adobe (Magento’s parent company), forecasts that nearly 36% of e-commerce sales this holiday season will be made from a smartphone. And while those numbers show more and more people are buying from their smartphones, B2B companies are behind their B2C counterparts when it comes to their mobile commerce offerings.
The hesitation B2B companies have to jump into mobile commerce stems from a belief that their products and services are just too complex to translate to a small screen. However, businesses cannot afford to invest in just one channel, especially as younger generations come of age and start making purchases for their companies. Gen Z, for example, spends an average of four hours and fifteen minutes per day on mobile and 95% of them own a smartphone. Additionally, 78% of them consider mobile devices their most important device for online access, and Millennials aren’t that far off at 74%.
For continued growth, businesses need to provide an omnichannel commerce experience--across mobile, online and offline--that empowers customers to make purchases on their terms and on the platforms of their choice.
Mobile Commerce is More Than Buying From Your Smartphone
When most people think of m-commerce, they immediately assume that it is limited to buying goods or services using a mobile device. While buying is one part of the equation, all of the research and browsing that a person does on their phone leading up to a purchase is a major part of the mobile commerce experience. Research shows that 80% of B2B buyers are using mobile at work, and more than 60% report that mobile played a significant role in a recent purchase. If the experience isn’t optimized for mobile viewing, consumers are likely to give up and look for the same product elsewhere. It is imperative that your business invests in a mobile experience that offers speed, convenience, and meets customers’ expectations.
Mastering the art of your B2B mobile commerce experience should be a priority. Below we do a deep dive into some of the key features that people have come to expect from a mobile commerce experience:
Research shows that eCommerce merchants with overly-complex mobile checkout processes have lost out on approximately $236 billion a year in potential sales. Providing buyers with a checkout and payment system that is both flawless and convenient will lessen the chance for cart abandonment.
Technology and automation have created new opportunities for businesses with regard to m-commerce. For example, today’s consumers want their shopping experience to be quick and require minimal effort. Use the right mobile payment services, such as Magento’s Instant Purchase feature, to provide returning customers with a faster checkout experience via pre-stored payment and shipping information. Additionally, this type of a one-click feature, where consumers just have to click once to buy something and don’t need to fill out their information, is a beneficial addition to your B2B mobile payment offering, especially for customers that are reordering the same items over and over again. It minimizes friction and promotes easy, seamless shopping experiences.
Responsiveness and easy-to-use apps in B2C have set high standards, and these expectations are migrating to B2B. The use of responsive and eye-catching design in your mobile layout, which personalizes the experience based on browsing and product queries, will help you better meet and exceed customers' expectations.
Also important on mobile is taking into account location as it can be a big indicator for the types of activities someone may be more willing to complete in the moment. So for example, knowing whether someone is on the go vs. browsing on mobile at an office could provide context into the appropriate experiences that should be served. A customer that is near one of your showrooms/distribution centers might appreciate being told that a specific item they are browsing is close by for pick-up. While someone who is stationed at home or in the office away from a distribution center may be more likely to browse through many different products and buy. Personalizing the experience based on the customer’s context is going to be key in delivering successful m-commerce experiences.
According to a study from BCG, more than 90% of buyers who reported a superior mobile experience said they were more likely to buy again from the same company, compared with 50% who reported poor experiences. If a customer cannot find what they want or are impeded in any way, they are more likely to leave your mobile site.
Personalize the M-Commerce Experience
Understanding your customers and personalizing their m-commerce experience will enhance the buying process and create a stronger relationship. After all, we already know that delivering a more personalized experience in B2C creates a lift in a variety of metrics, like conversion rate or average order value. And the retailer customers we are working with here at Adobe who measure and then optimize their mobile experiences are able to get more folks through the funnel faster.
From a B2B perspective, the right personalized mobile commerce experience will show potential buyers the products and services they are most likely to be interested in. For example, showing a visitor a personalized homepage, based on their Google search engine query, is something some B2B companies have been experimenting with. Additionally, smart B2B companies are personalizing their mobile experiences based on persona’s as well, showing content and experiences tailored to individuals based on their role (think: procurement vs. operations vs. marketing) within an organization.
Checkout options must also be personalized on mobile, offering consumers the ability to checkout via their preferred method of payment, whether it is Paypal, Visa Checkout, invoice statement or the ability to enter their credit card information.
It’s Time To Become Mobile Savvy
To become a mobile-savvy B2B company that masters the art of m-commerce, you have to invest time and effort into making the change. A company that embraces the power of m-commerce now, will lessen the risk of losing any momentum when the B2B buying power shifts from “mostly web” to “everything mobile.” And that time may be just around the corner: 5G is coming and it will vastly change the mobile landscape, accelerating and improving the experiences we can offer our customers.