Facebook Data Reveals That Mobile Holds The Key to Success for Online Retailers

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We’ve all seen the signs, and there’s no denying it – Mobile has been influencing larger sales conversion rates, across both online and in-store. Early 2016, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) helped us identify the four key Facebook-based trends that were set to define e-commerce advertising for the year. It has since been iterated and re-iterated several times, that mobile is the way to go with regards to shopping behaviour. Further, Facebook emphasised the importance of retailers investing heavily on mobile commerce. During the final quarter of the year, Google too shared its statistical findings, which clearly pointed to shopping trends that were going mobile.

Facebook has now released a new report on the shopping trends and expectations over Mobile. The new findings are rather fascinating. The report suggests that despite desktop-based-commerce still driving a good portion of retail sales, people are now turning to mobile devices for their day-to-day search, comparison of products, and purchasing activities.

The report highlights that about 38% of the existing retail shoppers wish they could do even more shopping on their smartphone. Consumers (and mobile users) are increasingly turning to their devices at odd hours to research about products and services, compare product prices, and also frequently check on the availability while in-store. Facebook calls this the “I’m always shopping” phenomenon.

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The findings of this new report also include purchasing patterns for desktop and mobile; wherein mobile conversions were higher when people were on the move. Mobile conversions start growing from 4 pm and peak between 8-9 pm when people relax at home. This is the time when mobile shoppers do multitasking by watching TV and surfing e-stores on their mobile simultaneously.

On the contrary, desktop conversions peaked during mid-day, when people were most likely sitting in front of their computers.

A rather interesting find was that Time was regarded as moving faster on mobile devices than on desktops. This perception of Time suggests that people tend to shop faster over their mobile devices. Mobile-to-mobile conversions were found to be 13% faster than desktop-to-desktop.

Browsing patterns too varied significantly across mobile and desktop devices. The study showed that people tend to browse for fewer products while shopping on their mobile than on desktop.

Interestingly, the shift towards mobile shopping has made efficiency the new competitive advantage that e-commerce retailers want to achieve. Mobile shoppers are a lot more impatient and easily frustrated if their experiences don’t match with their expectations for ease, convenience, or speed of browsing. Additionally, a smooth check-out process is something a majority of mobile shoppers look for.

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What does it mean for retailers and marketers alike?

1. The rapid shift towards e-commerce and mobile-driven commerce is opening up several new opportunities, particularly in the marketing arena. It is now much easier to reach out to your audience and capture their attention with your content. Digital marketing is going to play a critical role in driving e-commerce and retail sales, with a much greater focus on enhancing mobile user experience.

2. It isn’t going to be a piece of cake. The shift to mobile commerce means pleasing customers will become much more challenging. The shift towards mobile shopping is also an important aspect to consider in terms of changing consumer behaviour. If there is one thing that every retailer will be competing for, it is efficiency. There is no alternative to consumers’ desire for a smooth shopping experience.

3. It’s all about the experience. If a shopper has had a pleasant shopping experience on your mobile site, you know he/she is going to come back. The experience, of course, largely depends on components such as speed of transaction, ease, convenience, and value derived- All of which you will need to pay close attention to as a retailer.

Mobile Shopping is the FUTURE

Talking in terms of marketing opportunities, Facebook has 1.86 billion MAUs (Monthly Active Users) out of which 1.74 billion access the site from their mobile only. Further, it is estimated that on an average, each of these 1.74 billion mobile users spends more than 50 minutes per day on Facebook. This gives a tremendous opportunity to launch targetted advertisements and efficiently reach out to every single user. There is virtually no limit on how far content, creativity, and targeting the right audience will take you. Among the trending digital marketing strategies that the retailers and businesses are looking at, the most vibrant and effective ones are live videos, remarketing, call-to-action, and embedded Facebook content.

Mobile shopping is definitely the way forward; but more importantly, it is going to define a major portion of retail sales this year. Social media giants like Facebook and Google are going to set the trend for digital marketers. Aligning your business with the latest trends is important. That way, even if the behaviour and shopping patterns change, your business does not get hampered.

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