Guido Laures, the CTO of Spreadshirt, an e-retailer of print-on-demand apparel and accessories, recently published a revealing article in Internet Retailer on the struggles of e-retailers to convert on their mobile commerce sites and the lost potential revenue as a result. According to Mr. Laures,
“Every year retailers are inundated with studies that herald mobile breakthroughs, but in reality, very few consumers finalize purchases on a smartphone.”
He cites interesting statistics from m-commerce technology provider Branding Brand that tablets and smartphones generated 53% of the visits to 50 retail sites that Branding Brands tracks in January 2015, but only generated 24% of the total web sales, thereby highlighting the conversion problem.
We have seen similar poor conversion rate statistics from the Monetate Ecommerce Quarterly reports. In the 4th quarter of 2014 – the prime holiday season – Monetate found the conversion rate on smartphones was only 1.00% percent which is almost ¼ the rate on traditional desktops.
While mobile-friendly responsive designs and easier mobile checkouts are cited as inhibitors to mobile commerce conversion, an overlooked and more dangerous problem is earlier in the shopping process. Before they can buy, customers first need to find the product they want. Small screen sizes, clumsy typing and awkward scrolling gestures render traditional search and navigation useless on a smartphone.
The era of voice search is upon us. Natural language voice-enabled search allows shoppers to freely say to your mobile site or app what they want, like they were speaking to a sales associate. And in return, the mobile commerce site will show them exactly the products they want. If they find the products faster, customers will convert more often. It is that simple.
Only a natural language search solution can give your mobile commerce site the linguistic capabilities to understand the intent of a shopper’s spoken search and translate that to an exact set of products that matches their needs. A keyword search engine leaves you prone to misunderstanding different words and returning a wide swath of products that will frustrate your shoppers and continue you down the path of poor mobile customer conversion.
Please watch this short video to see a true natural language, voice-enabled search solution in action on a live women’s apparel mobile commerce site.