After an exciting day at the E-Commerce exhibition together with PrestaShop in Krakow I once again think about the e-commerce industry having such a ”limited / technical" view of how consumers feel and act.
Ther are 3 main areas where I think ther are a lot of opportunities still to be explored:
1: From economical reasoning to emotional decisions
For some reason, it seems as if the industry thinks that just because a person uses a digital device that person takes logical decisons? We humans are emotionally driven. There is very little evidence that indicates the opposite.
2: Experience is mistakes that you recycle and sell for more than it cost to get them
Why does e-commerce do not use more of the knowledge of customer purchasing behavior that the "physical" trade has accumulated since the first department store was opened in 1796? Instead of trying to push out the on-line solutions in physical stores? Today there are no really good examples that it is a commercial successful strategy that consumers like.
3: Walk the talk
How is it that the e-commerce industry is talking about "mobile first" but the practice is all the exhibition booths are full of PCs? Obviously, consumers prefer mobile phones before the PC. Once again look at the proofs – mobile traffic are still on the rise.
Opportunities come like a snail and disappear in a flash
Most e-shops we spoke to said that the mobile phone now accounted for 50% traffic and continued to increase. That the interest of a better mobile shopping experience is high among e-retailers is evident when we had queus all day to our part of PrestaShop stand talking mobile shopping experience. And once again after talking to all the retailers I have the same feedback as we have from exhibitions in Münich, Berlin, Stockholm och LasVegas - there is currently no e-commerce consultant who has taken the position as the leader in mobile e-commerce. In other words, an open market position to take.
A speed-blinded business?
We have got used to working in a business that have been expanding with a rate of 10-15% on yearly basis. I this type of situation there is a significant danger in not zooming out to look at the core of the driving forces. Or as in the case of the – consumer behaviour. The factor that will distinguish winners from losers will not be who can sell a product cheapest. The winner will be the one who can make the consumer pay the highest price for the product.
One size do not fit all!
In physical commerce, the stores are built in very different ways depending on the company's brand's position and what kind of products are for sale. Keep in mind the difference in the structure and design of a high street fashion store and a low-priced retail store. Two very different types of shop layouts and shopping experiences.
A high street fashion store has an open, airy, relaxing interior with high personal density. Focused on personal service. There are no shopping carts or shopping carts and the cashier is probably not at the door but a bit into the store.
The grocery store has a clear start where the customer takes his shopping cart, which then comes with a fixed point throughout the purchase process. The store is divided into many clear areas, such as vegetables, dairy products, etc. with products in clear subdivisions racking each other on shelves. In addition, there are "theme areas" with product news and offers and at the end a series of cash registers for quick and easy payment.
Webshops, on the other hand, are largely based on the same basic structure regardless of whether it is high fashion or low cost food. The reason for it is today's e-commerce platforms are built as a logistics system that assumes that a person will place an order on a number of products. This means that there is an "ordering process" to be performed in the same way, regardless of whether it is a high street fashion product or a low-priced food product to be purchased.
”He put the money in some sort of fruit company. It turned out rather well”
This difference between shopping in a physical and webshop would have continued to work if it was not for a thing that happened in 2007. A kind of “fruit company” in California, launched a small phone that had no keys or could send MMS. It was not even delivered with an instruction book !?
A few years ago, when about 35-40% of the traffic to e-commerce came from mobiles, the term "mobile first" began to be heard more and more. Today, many industries have 70-80% of their traffic from mobile devices. But mobile sales account for only about 40% of sales. Responsive design where trying to squeeze a PC user interface into a small touch screen is apparently not a success. At least not if you look at the numbers.
A touch of the future
What new requirements will a mobile traffic of +90% set for new solutions? Try not to think of the PC as the base for how a webshop shall work, and think instead on what unique benefits in addition to the mobility that a smartphone and tablet have:
-extremely visual, meaning that it is based more on image than text.
-intuitive ie easier than a PC with fewer pages to click through and more scroll.
-tactile, with touch, you touch the product and thus get a closer relationship to the content than with keyboard and mouse.
These are the 3 key drivers that make us as humans closer to our mobile than the PC. Mobile takes the position more of a "friend" than a technical unit.
"Free your mind and the rest will follow".
The mobile paradigm shift is the e-commerce industry's great chance of creating next-generation webshops. Here, experience from traditional physical commerce can be blended with mobile touch techology and provide the consumer with a simpler and frictionless shopping experience in a completely different way than today. The mobile touch devices provide the ability to fix the fundamental weaknesses and limitations that traditional PC-based e-commerce has had since its inception in 1995.
How many have the courage to take the leap into a mobile shopping experience based on touch giving the user a simpler, faster and truly mobile shopping experience?