You’ve likely heard of augmented reality (AR), but you may not fully understand what it is and how it can be used.
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As the world continues to adapt to the new normal, consumers are now doing much of their shopping online rather than in-person. In March 2020, online retail categories saw as much as a 74% uptick in sales when compared to March 2018.
4 min read
With an increasing number of consumers preferring to shop and buy online, it is evident that the future of retail is most likely going to revolve around enhancing the online shopping experience for these buyers using entirely new marketing techniques. This process will involve the application of new technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) to blur the boundaries between physical and online channels and offer unified shopping experiences to customers inside and outside retail stores.
Topics: Consumer Research and Advice
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Companies are faced with high barriers when trying to introduce audiences to a new platform or product. While investing copious amounts of time and money in their product, they are challenged by audiences used to a lot of interactivity and immediate rewards, limited attention spans, and regular distractions including mobile notifications, and much more.
Given the situation of the current global pandemic where a person’s interactivity is limited, virtual events are a strong contender to attract audiences and showcase both the complexity and simplicity of physical products. As almost all companies worldwide are working from home, the ability to attract a global audience remotely is now a major priority. Companies are finding that this method maximizes their ROI to potential clients and attracts users to understanding the benefits of their products.
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Not one industry could have anticipated the disruption that COVID-19 currently presents; It is reasonable to assume that sooner or later an event of some kind would present an obstacle to any professional industry. This disruption challenges professionals to rethink how information is shared and conveyed to current and future learners and clients. Various platforms for engagement include events, conferences, tradeshows, and training, but how do we cater to an audience who cannot all connect in one geographic region?
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Modern companies have more options for improving their bottom line than at any other time in history.
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Why Should You Care About Mobile?
You should care about mobile because your customers care about mobile. In fact, according to Statista, the most important mobile search feature according to U.S. customers is a company’s list of products. Over 40% of all Amazon searches are completed on mobile devices, and over 60% of Google searches are performed on mobile devices. That number only continues to rise. When you think about where your customers are and how they interact with your e-commerce site, you have to think about mobile. Think about your own behavior. When is the last time you got frustrated with a mobile site, and simply chose to make a purchase elsewhere? Mobile searches and purchases are the future of e-commerce, and if you aren’t optimizing for mobile, you are being left behind by your competition. This doesn’t just mean a set it and forget it approach.
What are the Primary Performance Issues on Mobile?When it comes to mobile sites, especially e-commerce sites, there are a few common issues. The reason these issues come up so often is simple. The features that make a desktop site beautiful can clutter and slow a mobile site, causing a poor user experience. Here are a few of the most common problems.
The rule of thumb for mobile sites is to keep them simple, especially when it comes to scrolling and the call to action. When users log on to a mobile site, they most often will scroll all the way to the bottom to see how long it will take them to navigate the page and how complex it is. Not only does this relate to how important the footer of your mobile page, and what is at the very bottom, is to users, but it also often determines if the user will leave your page right away. If the page, or the form, look too long and hard to navigate on mobile, your user may simply leave, intending to finish their shopping experience on a desktop, and perhaps never doing so. Worse, many may navigate away from your page and return to search results or wherever they saw your product page, and then click through to a competitor who has a simple site to work with.
Complex Page Structure
This is another common problem that plagues mobile e-commerce sites and their product pages. While at some points it might even be desirable to offer your customer choices, the product page is not one of them. There should be a single, clear call to action, and the customer should be offered few to no choices except to
“add to cart” or
“continue shopping.” Don’t distract from what you want the customer to do, simply lead them to that choice.
Distractions from the Call to Action
Dated Content Doesn’t Engage the UserWe’ve all landed on that non-responsive site on our mobile device where you had to scroll, not just up and down but left and right, to find menu items and to read all text. The need to pinch to zoom to see the call to action will drive most users running the other way. Mobile responsiveness is the standard, not an option, and dated content and sites will do nothing for your product pages. If these pages are the last item on your list for revisions, you might want to prioritize mobile optimization before you lose not only sales but reputation with your customers as well.
Mobile Functionality is PoorEven if you have a responsive site, you may not have a site that includes great mobile functionality. There are a few parts that go into this: Page Speed: You have only a few seconds to grab the attention of your customer and a few more for them to add your product to their cart. Loading time can quickly eat those seconds. Buttons: Buttons should be easy to tap with a thumb or single finger. If they are too small or in the wrong location, the user may also give up. One-handed operation: A user should be able to navigate your product page, add to cart, and even check out one-handed. The smoother your mobile site, and specifically your product pages function, the better. What can you do about these and other issues to make your mobile product pages spectacular?
Optimizing for mobile is not as complex as it might at first seem. The steps listed below are really quite simple for the most part.
Tips and Best Practices for Optimizing for Mobile
Use Responsive DesignFirst, and most simply, use a responsive design. However, with the accelerated mobile pages (AMP) from Google, even that is not enough. You need to make sure your pages are AMP compliant, not just fast and responsive to changes in devices. You may even need to add an AMP design to your page so that it is completely different than your desktop page. Whatever you need to do, you need to ensure that your mobile page is responsive, fast, and meets all of the requirements discussed in the above section.
Avoid Pop-ups and SidebarsWhile it might seem like a great idea to collect email addresses no matter what platform the user is on or try to draw them back into your site, using popups and odd sidebars are a sure way to send users to your competition. A pop-up, no matter how well-timed, will often end a web session. Especially when it comes to product pages, sidebars are a major problem. First, they are hard to interact with and use on mobile devices. Second, they detract from the very product you are trying to sell. Remember, keep it simple. The simpler and smoother your site, the better.
Optimize Site Search with Easy to Find and Use FiltersBy the time they reach your product lists or pages, your customer already knows what they are looking for, or at least the category it is in. Make sure your site search is easy to use with easy to find filters as soon as the user hits the search bar or page. The likelihood is that if they are on a product page, the customer is ready to make that purchase. They may be looking for a different size, color, or style, so you should make this simple for them to both find and navigate to. You’ve already sold them on you and your products, you just need to ensure that they can find the right one.
Add Brief and Clear Product DescriptionsProduct descriptions are really where the user learns what your product or service is about, but a long, drawn-out description, especially on mobile, will drive them away. Much like search, once the user has landed on the product page, they are ready to buy. All the description tells them is that they have landed in the right place and that this product is what they really want. This isn’t the time to belabor features or add anything in your description that will cause them to be confused or think twice about their purchase. You are just closing the deal at this point. Let your product speak for itself.
Ensure you have a One-Handed Checkout ProcessWe talked about this briefly above, but your customer may be juggling their credit card, a toddler, a pet, or all three when trying to check out to ensure they do not encounter any issues, be sure all of your checkout operations can be completed one-handed. This means everything, from buttons to the call to action and card entry process need to be easy to do with the thumb. Not every user will need this, but it is a simple way to ensure that your design works for everyone.
Engage Your Customer Using ARA relatively new option for mobile users is AR. Augmented reality technology allows the customer to see your product interacting with the environment they are in. This works for everything from clothing to furniture, from jewelry to art. The more the customer can interact with your product and virtually try it out before they buy, the more likely they are to have already established a connection with it. This is a game-changer for product pages in a variety of industries. When the user is at the crucial point of making a buying decision, the final influence can be the ability to interact with your product in a meaningful way. At first, augmented reality development option could be seen as complicated, but with the right partner, it can be easier and less expensive than you might think and the payoff in conversion rates can be huge. If you aren’t engaging in AR, you can be sure that your competition will be. The key is to give customers the option: some will already be decided and not need to interact with the AR product, but may find it new and exciting. Still, others may want that experience, and as technology continues to advance, it may even become a consumer expectation of certain product lines. Applications include:
- Sephora, and the makeup industry
- Amikasa and home design
- Quiver for children
- IKEA for furniture, art, and design
- Tap Painter for determining what color to paint your walls
ConclusionYour product pages are where you make your money. When you optimize them for mobile, you ensure that the 63% of people who search on their phones and the 40% of people who complete their transactions there can easily buy your products. Customers have high standards for mobile sites, and those expectations grow as mobile computing becomes more common. To keep up, you need to optimize more than just your main pages, product lists, and content. Your product pages need your attention too, and are at least as important, and potentially more so than the rest of your site.
6 min read
Do You Know How Well Your eCommerce Website is Working?
Your eCommerce business thrives on customers. New customers and repeat customers alike drive your return on investment, including the expenses around your website. You set up your eCommerce website to highlight your products. And you want those web pages to convert customers.
10 min read
Augmented reality (AR) has evolved rapidly from a science-fiction conception to a science-based reality. As AR technology continues to develop, business directors are exploring innovative approaches to utilize its potential.