(This article was written by Glenn Taylor for Retail Touch Points).
It’s not exactly news to note that more consumers are shopping online more often. What is different is that this growing group also is spending more on their purchases. For the first time, shopper spend growth (8%) has outpaced traffic growth (6%) as the primary driver of digital commerce growth (14%), according to the Q2 Salesforce Shopping Index.
Mobile is playing a role in this growth, with its traffic share jumping to 57%, a 23% year-over-year increase. An even higher percentage of consumers (59%) reported using their phones while shopping in a physical store within the last three months.
“For years, we’ve been thinking that mobile is purely digital, but it turns out mobile actually has more of an impact on the store environment,” said Rick Kenney,Head of Consumer Insights at Salesforce Commerce Cloud in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We see that as a massive opportunity. It’s clear that mobile is the most disruptive force on retail — not just digital — since the onset of e-Commerce in the 1990s, but the investments thus far have primarily been geared towards the digital side of the experience.”
While there remains a gap between mobile’s traffic share (57%) and its order share (33%), the latter figure has steadily increased from the 20% in Q2 2015. Kenney believes integrated mobile payments are going to be the next step that drive increased order shares and “cuts the entire second half of the sales funnel off.” He noted that Salesforce customer Deckers experienced significant improvements last holiday season after introducing Apple Pay, including reduced fraudulent orders and increased conversion rate.
“85% of the people that used Apple Pay did it prior to starting a checkout,” Kenney said. “They either used Apple Pay on the cart page or the product detail page, and didn’t need to see a checkout. That’s the friction-reducing hope of that single-tap experience, that you can buy without having to fumble through a credit card or fill out form fields.”
3 Ways To Improve The Shopper-Product Connection
The Index highlighted three areas of investment that will lead towards improving the shopper-product connection:
The Brand Connection.
Findability is important because today’s consumer is so engrained in site search, particularly through channels such as Google and Amazon. Site search accounts for 10% of site visits and 23% of all revenue. But Kenney argued that the most important part of findability is what happens when shoppers receive search results. This findability goes hand-in-hand with personalization, which retailers must use beyond the product page if they want effective campaigns.
“Shoppers are starting to use personalization in site search results,” Kenney said. “You and I can search on the same exact site and both type in ‘blue jeans,’ but perhaps I tapped around in the sales section before I made a search while you came in through a paid link or a new arrival. You, as the full-price shopper, might see the full-price jeans at the very top at that site search set, whereas I’m going to see the sale jeans at the top of my search set.
“It’s the same terms with different shoppers, different result sets, and that’s a great spot to impact,” Kenney added. “Bringing personalization into a productive setting such as a site search increases the likelihood of connecting the shopper with a product they’d be interested in.”
The third investment area, the brand connection, may seem obvious for retailers, but differentiation is often difficult in a market oversaturated with companies selling the same products. Retailers must elicit specific feelings that shoppers want to experience throughout their journey, regardless of where or what they are purchasing.
Kenney pointed out American Giant as a brand that successfully uses storytelling on its web site and within its product pages to emphasize its premium apparel, which is entirely manufactured in America.
“If someone may be turned off by the price point, by the time a shopper reads through that story, they may say, ‘I get it. I want to try this out.’” Kenney noted. “There is an educational aspect of storytelling that exists to actually connect with that shopper.”