Self-Service Offerings of B2C Fortune 500 Websites
*Currently, most companies offer some self-service tool. Consumers are hoping for more robust offerings.
As a society, we live on our phones. We message friends, take selfies, tweet celebrities, and occasionally do something important like make a phone call. The phone has become more than a technology. It’s become a keystone tool in our day-to-day lives.
We make payments, track our lives, do our banking, and soon, we’ll be turning on our cars and turning off our lights with them.
It should come as no surprise that we’re also using our phones to shop. Mobile devices enable us to browse stores when we previously couldn’t, and allow us to buy whenever we please. As a result, the mobile ecommerce environment is booming.
Everyone seems to be on the same page. Consumers appreciate the accessibility and freedom mobile devices give them. Businesses in turn appreciate the additional sales and new touchpoints that the mobile environment offers.
But there’s trouble in paradise.
With more and more people accessing company websites through mobile devices, the demand for mobile support and self-service tools has increased. The problem here is that the self-service support options available haven’t matured at the same rate mobile stores have.
Mobile websites and stores are often cumbersome to navigate and make it difficult to find specific products, according to a study conducted by Software Advice, who specialize in researching and suggesting the best software for your business needs. The findings have some fascinating implications for eCommerce UX design as well as site search as a whole.
Let’s take a look at what they found.
Poor Mobile Experiences Are Costly
More than just a minor inconvenience for users, poor functionality and interface design are costing companies money. This happens in two ways, through customer support costs incurred after dealing with confused customers, and lost sales when a poor site experience causes a visitor to leave the store and take their business elsewhere.
How exactly does a poor experience lead to customer support costs? Most likely through your phone.
An article from Mashable claims that “it costs about $1 per minute for the average call center to service a customer,” while a whitepaper from Google claims phone support costs $20 per incident. Either way, those costs add up. Quickly.
Likelihood of Calling if a Website is Inconvenient
*60% of users say they will call if they have a poor website experience.
This graphic, from the study at Software Advice, highlights the percentage of users who would call support if the website was inconvenient or they couldn’t figure something out. That means 60% of your users will call support if your mobile offering is unsatisfactory.
Quickly, let’s say you have 10,000 users. Perhaps 2000 of them experience an issue with your mobile site. With these numbers, and the $20/incident cost quoted by Google, that’s a cost of $24,000 to service these users.
That’s one half of the problem – support costs incurred by businesses. But the other half can be just as problematic – lost sales due to customers taking their business elsewhere.
Remember that this graph shows people who would call support. The 40% who don’t? They’re not just sitting around, ‘okay’ with the fact that they had a poor site experience. They’ve most likely gone to a competitor and purchased from them.
This is extremely troublesome when framed in terms of loyalty – not only have you lost an individual sale, you may have lost a customer for life.
Areas of Improvement
How can we overcome this? There must be areas to improve in to reclaim these lost sales and reduce our support costs. And there are, let’s take a look at the major complaints consumers have about mobile web experiences.
Most Common Website Inconveniences
*Navigation, search, and speed are the main problems.
Looking at all of these issues can seem daunting. There’s a lot of work to be done in a number of different areas. But you’re in luck, you don’t need to invest tons of money to fix each one of these inconveniences separately. In fact, we can take out ‘3 issues with 1 investment.’
For a moment, let’s ignore numbers 4/5. They only comprise 17% of the reported problems, and both can be solved immediately by transitioning to a dedicated mobile website or implementing responsive design on your existing site.
Here’s the good part. We can tackle the other 83% of issues with just one investment. For eCommerce retailers, difficult navigation, poor search tools, and a slow site speed can be overcome by investing in a robust mobile site search application.
Mobile search applications enable retailers to capture those lost sales by ensuring visitors can find exactly what they’re looking for, regardless of the device they’re on. Additionally, comprehensive search and navigation options reduce the amount of calls support faces, as it drastically improves the quality of your self-service support.
How To Master Mobile
There’s nothing terribly difficult about creating an exemplary mobile offering. It just takes the time and effort that some eCommerce retailers haven’t prioritized yet. We’ll see how that unfolds, as we’re quickly approaching a tipping point where mobile offerings will soon be just as important as native experiences. So how can we prepare for this?
First things first – translate your store over. Your eCommerce store is the lifeblood of your organization. It’s how you generate revenue. The easiest way to create an absolutely seamless experience is with a mobile search tool. If you want to explore this idea further, come see what these tools can do with a live demo!
Mobile search applications specialize in simplified navigation and comprehensive search functionality contained in a small, simple form factor.
Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to really weigh the pros/cons and decide between a dedicated mobile site or implementing responsive design. If you want some help with that decision, the aforementioned study provided a breakdown of who’s currently doing what:
Mobile Friendliness of B2C Fortune 500 Websites
*The majority of major retailers have some sort of mobile-oriented offering for consumers.
Remember that the study surveyed 100 B2C Fortune 500 retailers. So of those companies, 12 have no mobile offering, 16 have responsive design implemented, while the vast majority have opted for a dedicated mobile site such as “m.facebook.com”
Visitors should get a seamless and well-executed experience regardless of where they connect with your company. Whether that’s on a desktop computer or on the subway. Search applications are a dedicated way to successfully translate your eCommerce store experience to the mobile environment.
Either way, the team at Software Advice sums up the matter perfectly:
“At the very least, go mobile.”