02 July 2014
While your customers swim from smartphone to tablet to desktop PC and back again, you might view this as several different channels. And understandably so. After all, the cookies saved on one device don’t mystically transfer when your customer revisits your e-commerce website on a different computer.
But your customer isn’t concerned with the technical capabilities of cookies. According to a recent report from Forrester, “Build Seamless Experiences Now,” customers do not see the difference in touchpoints. Your webshop visitors only see the company they are dealing with. The customer is the fish. Your e-commerce website is the river.
Customers regard the distinctions between devices as arbitrary. Forrester describes the customer’s desire as a “continuity of memory and experience”. Their report stresses the importance (and accompanying difficulty) for e-commerce websites to optimize the customer experience across smartphone, tablet, and home computer.
The Forrester report also cites the numbers to back up the assertion of importance. 90% of those consumers with multiple devices jumped between an average of three devices a day, in different combinations.
Maybe they start browsing on a phone, then research on a PC, then hop to the tablet to surf while watching TV. Maybe PC, then tablet, then phone. Or maybe phone, then tablet, then PC. The combinations of ways to visit your site are limited only by the number of internet-enabled devices.
Unfortunately, many e-commerce websites aren’t making it easy for potential customers. According to the Forrester report, only 17% of online consumers in the US and UK find it easy to switch between different devices to either take action or find information. That means a whopping 83% of customers feel there’s room for improvement in the multi-channel experience.
Customers flow smoothly between devices. To them, the distinction between the experience on a phone and the experience on a tablet is an arbitrary one. These numbers are a wake-up call for any company that wants to make it easier for their customers to buy from them, as well as anyone that wants a leg up on the competition.
One challenge for companies is to present a persistent brand experience across these different devices. For consistent brand identity and a similarly structured experience, responsive design is the answer. Responsive design scales your e-commerce website to a variety of different screen sizes for phone, tablet, and PC, which allows you to offer the same user experience across these devices.
By offering customer registration and log-ins for your webshop, you also allow customers to save their personal information and add items to shopping carts for them to check out later. Integration with your CRM system also gives you more options to target this customer and give them a personalized experience no matter what part of the river they swim in.
When optimizing your e-commerce website for schools of device-switching shoppers, be creative and resourceful. Your online customers want a seamless, consistent, and great user experience as they move between devices.