Comment & Blogs
Date:18 July 2012
m-Commerce is all about the journey
Carsten Kraus, CEO of search technologists FACT-Finder, underlines the importance of providing the best possible purchasing experience for casual mobile shoppers.
One of the most powerful things about mobile technology is that it opens retailers up to casual shopping. This means those with online stores are not only open for business 24/7, but also accessible to consumers with smartphones or tablets wherever they may be. This could be on the train, in a café or even standing in a queue – in fact any ‘casual’ situation.
However, it’s one thing being more accessible to consumers, and quite another getting them to buy. Ecommerce sites, just like any others, can be more compatible to some web browsers than others, meaning that in certain circumstances they are presented badly, putting off shoppers. Many are also not compatible with mobile devices, deterring just the kind of casual purchase referred to above, which can provide a key boost to retailer revenues.
This is where the mobile application comes in, as it can be tailored to the ecommerce demands of retailers and downloaded onto the devices of individual consumers providing the perfect mobile purchasing environment. Well almost, because no matter how crisp, clear and clean an online store appears on a mobile device or how well the products are presented, if a customer can’t find the product they want quickly and easily or buy it with the minimum of fuss, no purchase will be made. And it was for this very reason that FACT-Finder was asked to work with fellow Pforzheim-based business Meyle + Müller on an iPad app for Globetrotter, Europe’s largest outdoor equipment retailer.
Launched in October 2011, the app not only makes Globetrotter’s entire product range available through the iPad, it also includes a bar code scanner and a GPS module through which consumers can pinpoint their nearest physical store. Globetrotter’s various online and social media portals (Forum, Facebook, 4 seasons, alternating slideshow etc) are also bundled with the app. What’s more, the webshop is presented in a way that guides the user through the product search and purchasing processes.
To streamline these processes, the app incorporates a direct connection to FACT-finder’s conversion engine, which depicts not only search suggestions, but also related product links from Globetrotter’s online store. Customers who enter a term from one of Globetrotter’s online catalogues are quickly directed to the correct product. Furthermore, all of the functionality of FACT-Finder’s search technology is also available. This includes after search navigation (ASN), with which consumers can filter a large number of found items by a number of categories, such as price, brand or color. The system’s campaign manager also assigns a search term directly to a particular product allowing consumers to locate the most popular items and follow buying trends.
If you’re going to invest in the development of an ecommerce app, it makes sense to incorporate a search function, like Globetrotter has done, that holds the key to maximising the user experience. This will not only drive more consumers to purchase, but ultimately reflect positively on the reputation of the brand itself. Online purchasing, like many experiences in life, is all about the journey, and consumers will remember the bad as well as the good.
Carsten Kraus is CEO of FACT-Finder