With just a few weeks to go until the Digital Retail Transformation Assembly, we sat down with sponsor and commerce expert Igor Faletski, CEO and Co-Founder, Mobify to find out more about the future of commerce.
Where is the future of commerce heading?
IGOR: Every retailer knows that commerce is moving online. But the mistake we see many retailers make today is that they still have a desktop-first mentality.
One reason is that the majority of Western customers have a desktop computer. But there are two things of note here: 20% of millennials are using solely mobile devices now, and that percentage is much higher in Gen Z. As well, outside North America, the chances of mobile being the sole connected device a customer uses are much higher.
I can’t emphasize enough that being able to engage customers with a “mobile-centric” approach is critical for digital engagement, loyalty, revenue, and profit growth.
What are the most important considerations for a company looking to leverage mobile?
IGOR: The old adage that people browse on mobile and buy on a desktop is outdated.
Mobile devices are much better now, and people do buy more on mobile if mobile experiences keep up with the device. There’s been so much focus on native apps, but think about the customer: should they have to have an app for every store they shop from?
Luckily, the capability of mobile browsers has changed dramatically to become more app-like. We can now make “Progressive Web Apps” – essentially an experience that mimics what you get with a native app, but as far as the customer goes, it’s just a stellar website. Of course, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes to make it that way.
How do Progressive Web Apps differ from a responsive web or native apps?
IGOR: Responsive was a good first step for mobile, but it struggles with more complex interactions that customers traditionally performed on a desktop, like filtering products on listing pages or checking out smoothly. Progressive Web Apps are still responsive – meaning the content adjusts according to the screen size – but they can also deliver app-like performance, work in offline mode, enable web push notifications, offer speedy checkouts with new features like PaymentRequest API and Apple Pay. We also use a few different technologies like Accelerated Mobile Pages (commonly called AMP) to ensure web pages are loading super quickly (up to 4 times faster than adaptive or responsive web approaches), because mobile users get distracted and frustrated really easily.
To be clear, native apps can also perform outstandingly well – but people rarely download retail apps these days. When you add the maintenance costs on top of the initial investment of a native app… Well, I probably don’t need to explain to this audience how a cost-benefit analysis works. But let’s just say that if you can get the functionality and conversions of a native app in front of your much larger audience on the mobile web, you’d be crazy not to.
How does AMP for ecommerce work?
IGOR: Accelerated Mobile Pages are a new-to-ecommerce, open-source, Google-led initiative that reduces landing page load times from search results. AMP pages are cached by search engines so that they load on mobile in less than 1 second. Quick load times are proven to reduce bounce rates and increase conversions on mobile.
AMP is identified in mobile Google search results by a small lightning bolt logo. As users get familiar with the logo, they will be more inclined to click, knowing they are guaranteed a consistently fast experience.
How do AMP and Progressive Web Apps work together?
IGOR: AMP will work with any mobile site but is best when combined with PWAs.
The combination of the two technologies is important. With AMP and PWA, your customers will get the instant load of the first page from AMP, followed by an incredibly fast, app-like experience on the rest of your site.
Using AMP without a PWA for mobile commerce doesn’t make sense because you need the Progressive Web App for a seamless checkout.
A major topic of discussion at Digital Retail Transformation Assembly is the “Phygital”, bridging the physical and digital. How do you help clients do just that?
With a Progressive Web App, you can set up a unique experience for customers that open your site while in-store. Through testing, you can figure out what your in-store customers are looking for on your website (promotions, events, in-store demos, etc.) and serve it to them automatically, rather than them having to search for it.
We’re excited that Mobify is attending the event this October. Can you give our readers a hint as to what you’ll be showcasing?
IGOR: We’ll share how our customers are using the latest mobile technologies like Progressive Web Apps and Accelerated Mobile Pages to dramatically increase engagement and conversions on their mobile commerce sites. We’ll also share insights on how we provide a fast path to upgrading their sites through our connectors to Salesforce Commerce Cloud, SAP Hybris or almost any other platform.
What are the benefits of attending an intimate C-Level event like ours?
IGOR: The best part about attending events like these is getting to talk to retailers and hear first hand what their challenges are. We take those insights back to the product team and start working on solutions right away.
On the flip side, retailers get to talk to tech companies about how we can help them and what’s coming down the pipe. It’s great to come together to see how we can achieve a common goal.
DIGITAL RETAIL TRANSFORMATION ASSEMBLY
We are thrilled to announce Keynote Speaker Martine Reardon, Former CMO Macy’s and Current Founder & CEO at Reardon Consulting, and Senior Advisor, Retail & E-Commerce at NRF. Martine Reardon is best known for leading the multi-faceted world of marketing at Macy’s, from 2012 through 2016. In her role at Macy’s, she captained the company’s 1,300-person marketing organization, including advertising, creative, and brand development, social, mobile and digital media, public relations, cause marketing, media planning and consumer insights for more than 800 stores and macys.com, the sixth largest internet business in the country.
Other speakers include Martin Barhel, Global Head of eCommerce & Retail Strategy, Facebook, and Brendan Witcher, Principal Analyst, Forrester.
Our agendas and attendee lists are for events attendees only. Apply to attend here!