The world of eCommerce is expanding in leaps and bounds. And as mobile traffic to online retail sites increases, merchants and Systems Integrators are taking steps to improve the conversion rates among mobile users.
The TPM team was invited by PayPal to participate in their recent Mobile Optimization Summit — a meet up between PayPal, Magento, and a group of Systems Integrators to talk about the various mobile commerce challenges SIs are facing. It was a great opportunity for us to hear the different perspectives on problems facing the eCommerce industry, and to participate in helping provide some solutions.
Competition in the Mobile Commerce World
Mobile eCommerce sales are anticipated to hit close to $204 billion this year (an estimated 34% of all eCommerce sales in the US). That’s a big market — one that online retailers can’t afford to ignore. Mobile commerce challenges may be daunting, but they’re also issues that merchants, SIs, and payment platforms are ready to tackle head-on.
But given that more than half of eCommerce traffic comes from mobile devices, there’s a clear gap between those who visit online retailers on mobile and those that actually make a purchase. Closing that gap is obviously one of the keys to overcoming mobile commerce challenges. The secret is figuring out how to make all those mobile shoppers convert.
Enter the Mobile Optimization Initiative (MOI). An idea brought to life through the collaborative efforts of PayPal, Magento, HiConversion, and TPM, the initiative offers merchants and Systems Integrators the chance to experiment with solutions to mobile commerce challenges — and learn from each other’s experiences.
At the Mobile Optimization Summit, we heard from a number of Systems Integrators about some of the challenges they’re still working to overcome in the mobile world.
Recruiting Merchants to the MOI
One of the biggest challenges SIs cited at the Summit was the difficulties they faced in recruiting new merchants. Existing merchants, they said, were happy to get on board with the free initiative and gain insights from PayPal and Magento about how to increase mobile revenue. But despite the fact that participation in the MOI is entirely free and offers huge benefits to merchants who opt in, SIs found it hard to get new merchants on board.
We discovered that most merchants, though aware of the value of testing, weren’t doing any of their own on their sites!
Of course, as marketers, we can’t help but feel that solving this problem is all about messaging. Systems Integrators need to ensure that their messaging to potential merchants conveys how the MOI will increase conversions for their site and that, while each and every site is unique, being involved in a community initiative increases the chances of success and decreases the risk of failure.
The mobile eCommerce gap is real, and closing it can be a game-changer for online merchants. Making sure merchants understand that the MOI isn’t an obligation, but an opportunity, should be a top priority.
Data Privacy Concerns
Protecting consumers’ — and merchants’ — confidential data is a growing priority. In fact, the Supreme Court just ruled to broaden the definition of confidentiality as it applies to Freedom of Information Act requests for business data.
SIs at the Mobile Optimization Summit passed along some concerns that merchants had about sharing their sales data with competitors. Obviously, there are benefits to be gained from shared knowledge, but in the hyper-competitive world of eCommerce, there is also a reluctance to share proprietary data.
Of course, understanding specific problems your target audience is having is an essential step to solving them. Armed with the knowledge that data anonymization was a concern for merchants, PayPal, Magento, and the SIs could combine resources to find a technological solution to the problem. (TPM’s XYZABC Methodology is all about identifying the audience you want to reach, the solution you have to offer them, and how they will benefit.)
Marketing and Mobile Commerce Challenges
Too often, organizations make the mistake of thinking that marketing is all about promoting a product or service. But sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it’s about understanding the pains your audience is facing and helping them understand how to address it.
In the case of the Mobile Optimization Initiative, PayPal and Magento aren’t offering a product to solve the mobile commerce challenges faced by merchants and SIs — but they’re still offering a solution in the form of collaboration, partnerships, and community.
But the solution you offer is only as valuable as your audience perceives it to be. If you can’t communicate the benefits of your offering (whatever it may be) to your target audience, the odds are good that few will ever take advantage. That’s why TPM continues to work with PayPal, Magento, and hiConversion on the Mobile Optimization Initiative, creating highly valuable and educational marketing assets to help communicate the value of the project.
Have questions about how to communicate the value you offer to potential clients? Total Product Marketing has nearly a decade of experience helping Cloud, IT, and technology companies engage and educate their audiences with unique marketing campaigns. Talk to us about your goals and how we can help you.