The eCommerce landscape is constantly changing for retailers, and with it, the ways consumers shop.
More consumers than ever are shopping online, and with that, eCommerce sites need to up their game.
The modern consumer no longer does all of their shopping online on a desktop or laptop computer. In 2021 alone, 58% of all online visits to e-commerce sites came from smartphones, according to Contentsquare (opens in a new tab). Making sure your brand has an app that benefits the customer journey and is fit for purpose is absolutely essential.
Customers want and expect a seamless and consistent brand experience when it comes to shopping online, and brands need to meet that demand.
It is no longer enough for brands to simply have the right items, at the right price with a below average digital product. And a big part of that digital product is having a useful app that integrates with your website.
Why Continuity Across Devices Is Crucial For Ecommerce Sites
Customers want easy access, and even more so when it comes to shopping online.
Ensuring your customers have a seamless journey from choosing their items to checkout has a number of benefits including higher conversions and this is where continuity across devices comes into play.
Continuity across devices means the ability for a customer to open your app and pick up exactly where they left off on your website. No loss of items from your cart, and for the merchant, a higher chance of conversion and less risk of cart abandonment.
In July 2021, a study by Salecycle (opens in a new tab) put the latest cart abandonment rate at over 80%, with 26% of carts being abandoned due to "long or complex processes". The difficulty in payment is costing brands dearly and allowing the user to buy and switch between devices is a key step to eradicate the problem.
As stated above, there is a demand for a consistent brand experience and the tips below will help eCommerce sites maximize their app and website performance.
Four Ways Ecommerce Websites Can Integrate Apps
1. Don't use an app for fun: add it to the customer experience
Having an app integrated alongside an eCommerce site is essential if you want to cater to the modern consumer.
But it is important that the application is functional, has a purpose and adds value to the customer. Adding app-specific features is a great way to differentiate your digital product and give the consumer something different, encouraging them to hit the download button.
Amazon recently added a new feature to its app (opens in a new tab) that allows users to "try on" digital versions of shoes through its new virtual reality feature. In March, Walmart also launched a similar product (opens in a new tab) in a virtual trial service available to app and website users. The US brand has also started selling its e-commerce technology to SMEs.
It's important to tailor your app to work with your website, but don't be afraid to add unique features to impress the user.
Giving the consumer something else in the form of app-specific functionality is ideal, but perhaps the most critical point in creating a seamless customer journey from website to app is ensuring that the foundation of functionality is the same.
When a consumer downloads your brand's app, they expect to see the same brand colors, familiar UX design (opens in a new tab), and core functionality consistent with what's available on your website.
One example is the UberEats website and mobile experience. Regardless of the device through which the order is placed, Uber has integrated the driver tracking feature into its app and website, providing the user with familiar basic functionality, regardless of the device.
You want the user to feel a sense of familiarity when they download your app and not be left behind.
According to a recent report from Contentsquare (opens in a new tab), the average conversion rate for desktop across all eCommerce industries is 3,7%, while for mobile it has dropped to just 2,2 .XNUMX%, despite the majority of traffic coming from mobile users.
What does it mean?
While the average eCommerce consumer tends to browse more on mobile devices, they are more likely to shop on desktop. This just underscores the importance of having a seamless customer journey and device continuity.
A consumer should be able to start shopping on one device and pick up where they left off on another. Since this behavior is already exhibited by the modern consumer, it would be foolish for retailers not to meet this demand and offer this seamless transition from app to website.
Your website is the foundation on which your application will be designed and run. They can and should work together.
A great way to drive traffic to your app will be through your website. Digital signage where you upload your app to your mobile site, for example, is a great way to encourage your mobile traffic to start using your app. Most website builders offer this as a service.
When the user downloads your app, they get the same basic functionality and brand experience as on your mobile site, but with more features.
Is the integration of your application and website important?
Absolutely. This is not only important, but absolutely crucial if brands want to stay in touch with the modern consumer and continue to meet their demands.
Consumers no longer accept lengthy checkout processes or restrictions on where and how they can shop. There are already many e-commerce platforms serving their users and reaping the rewards, Amazon being a key example.
Amazon's app shares much of the core features and functionality of its website, but gives customers the ease of access to shop on the go without compromising the user experience.
As attention now shifts from high street to a digital future, ensuring that your digital offering works as a cohesive unit within your ongoing marketing strategy will be key to the success of an eCommerce site.