CEO Dominique Lamb

It’s no secret we’re addicted to our phones – just think about the panic most of us feel at the thought of losing ours!

While it’s also no secret these little devices have revolutionised our industry, the latest research from Salesforce suggests they are going to play an even greater role in the lead up to Christmas.

The global Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform’s report suggests mobile is on track to deliver 68 per cent of all e-commerce traffic in the lead up to Christmas – an all-time high representing a whopping 19 per cent year-on-year growth world-wide.

They will account for 72 per cent of all visits, and shoppers will for the first time place more orders from their phones than from their computers or tablets.

While the figures are global (Salesforce combined insights on the activity of 500 million global shoppers across 53 countries and on billions of transactions powered by Commerce Cloud) so are overall consumer trends.

Factoring in the uniqueness of the Australian retail environment and conditions, our consumers’ shopping behaviours will differ, but not too greatly in the scheme of things.

So, what are you doing to support these consumer behaviours and expectations, and compete for your slice of the spending pie this Christmas season?

How seamless is your smart phone e-commerce experience for your consumers? When was the last time you pretended to be a customer to check out your own end-to-end experience, and make sure there were no glitches?

It is always a surprise when I’m shopping online (or ‘researching’ as I like to call it!), how often I find myself following an Instagram link to an item only to find the link doesn’t work, or heading to retail sites that are constructed for desktop only and aren’t mobile-friendly.

One of my pet hates is shopping on larger sites where there may be hundreds of results returned from the filters entered. After you click on one item to check it out and then press the back button, you are taken to the top of the list rather than where you were up to (making it to 872 shows great dedication to that ‘research’). You then have no choice but to scroll like there’s no tomorrow to try and find your place again, and deal with the insane amount of time it takes for everything to re-load.

This is beyond just being annoying to customers – it is often deal-breaking.

How easy do you make it for your consumers to find what they’re looking for on their mobile phones, bringing up the information and photography they need, alongside easy pricing and a clear idea on the item’s accessibly, as well as how fast you can get it to their doorstep?

Or, how precise are your filters, and do they return what they should be returning? Are the filters easy to press on a mobile phone even (sometimes you cannot manage to press the right link because they are way too small)? Can you enter multiple filters at once (like, two dress sizes instead on only one)?

One of the other important things to consider this year is payment options. How many ways are you offering for people to pay?

According to Australia Post’s Inside Australian Online Shopping report, the rise in ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) options was one of the biggest consumer trends of 2017.

In fact, these payments accounted for a whopping 7.7 per cent of total Australian online goods spending in 2017!

Fashion alone represented 57 per cent of all BNPL transactions in 2017 – a seven-fold increase from 2016.

These services are particularly popular with the 18 to 39-year-old demographic, as “it provides instant gratification with low entry level and can be used as a budgeting tool,” according to Aus Post.

No Australian retailer can ignore the fact that this is a trend that’s showing no signs of slowing, particularly given the percentage of e-commerce overall continues to grow (now sitting anywhere between eight and twelve per cent depending on the research source).

With three months to go, please dive in and perform an audit on your own systems, and make sure you’re giving consumers the most frictionless end-to-end experience you can.

By creating multiple opportunities to interact with your offerings across multiple platforms, with easy access, great usability, extreme convenience, as much payment flexibility as you can offer, the best value possible, and with the fastest speed and fulfilment delivery you can give, you’ll be in good stead for a bumper pre-Christmas season.

We always love hearing about what our members are doing at this time, so please get involved via or on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn