By Olga Orda
What do companies like 1-800-Got-Flowers, the Home Depot and approximately 62% of successful online businesses today have in common? They are using the mobile web in a very effective way to boost conversions and sales. In other words, they realized that more and more customers are on their smart phone device instead of their laptop to get information or make a purchasing decision and they have made it very easy and even enjoyable for the customer to do just that on their iPhone, Android or Blackberry: get engaged enough (or get enough information) to make a buying decision.
This best practices series covers five best practices in creating an outstanding mobile experience for your customers while driving conversions and sales for your business. We borrow from real life examples of companies who nailed it: the Home Depot and 1-800-Got-Flowers. We start with the Home Depot first.
The Home Depot
The Home Depot was an early innovator in the mobile space and saw the need to take advantage of the fast-growing mobile market opportunity.
It did so by targeting two of their most valuable and frequent consumers: a. Do-it- yourselfers,” hungry for content and convenience from wherever they are; and b. professionals and contractors, who want to get in and out of the store quickly.
To stay ahead of the curve and continue to create a terrific user experience since it launched its first application in 2010, the company launched a significant mobile redesign, adding user localization which allows users to access real-time inventory, pricing and aisle location for any given store. The efforts paid off: between 2011 and 2012, visits originating from the mobile device tripled and the Home Depot’s cost per macro-conversion decreased by 75% since the mobile site launched.
Several best practices that the Home Depot took the lead on included:
1) Making Rich Media Light
The company allows consumers the ability to buy on mobile and pick-up in-store. While the mobile site features more than 1,000 video how-to’s, it does not weigh down the user experience. Despite being media-rich, the lightweight pages load quickly and are optimized for intuitive access on small screens. In addition, each page is made specifically to be very gesture and touch driven for a truly intuitive experience on the mobile site.
2) Mobile Search
The Home Depot cited mobile search as critical to its online success. For example, when a user searches for specific products, locations, maps or links, they go directly to the Home Depot page that they need. Alternatively, they obtain the right extension number that they need. All of these steps alleviate the customer from any potential corporate runarounds and ultimately, save time to create a great user experience.
3) Make the Mobile and Retail Connection
As a multi-channel retailer, The Home Depot understands the impact of its mobile website on its physical stores: “There is a stronger connectivity between mobile and stores than there is between our desktop site and the stores. Mobile is the bridge between interconnected retail,” says Matt Jones, General Manager of Mobile for Homedepot.com And understanding how mobile is adding value to the business requires factoring-in new mobile conversions: “Sales are the macro-conversion but when users lookup our store hours, or a store phone number or driving directions, those are other mobile conversions that will potentially lead to a physical in-store purchase,” says Jones. The cost per macro-conversion has decreased by 75% since the mobile site launched, and the company is now closely monitoring other key mobile conversions.
- Capitalize early on the fast-growing mobile market
- Improve user experience on mobile and in-store Better understand mobile impact on their physical locations
- Developed a mobile site early
- Developed an app using breakthrough technologies Measured and optimized for mobile conversions
- Visits originating from a mobile phone tripled in one year
- Mobile sales more than quadrupled
- Implemented close monitoring of key mobile conversions (store locators clicks)
In our next post, we cover 1-800-Flowers’ best practices when it comes to redesigning the mobile version of their site to convert visitors into customers and ultimately, increase profitability.
Infinium Systems is an award-winning web and mobile app development company based in Vancouver, BC. We create high performance web and mobile technologies for organizations that are making life better.