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Why digital supply chains need mobile friendly customer experiences

Posted by CeMAT Team on 22-Apr-2016 12:45:32


It seems as though digital disruption to business is set to continue evolving into unfamiliar and new terrain equipped with a smattering of fierce competition.

Everyday, eCommerce giants like Alibaba are expanding their territory to a global network of boundary-less eCommerce consumers, scouring sites for the best customer experience and the fastest international shipping time. There is no doubt the retail landscape has shifted to accommodate digital forms of shopping, but it’s set to change even more. Since early 2015, Google has implemented a new algorithm that ranks mobile-friendliness higher in search results due to the increasing percentages of mobile searches.

This means that mobile-friendly sites will get a boost in mobile search results, while sites that take a long time to load or are cumbersome to use will be left behind in what some media sites have referred to as the ‘mobilegeddon’ or the ‘mobocalypse’.

If your business has an eCommerce portal that is difficult for the customer to use and navigate, you may have experienced a drop in site traffic. To investigate, you can use an analytics package such as Google Analytics to track whether or not there’s been a drop or an increase in traffic to your site. If you’ve noticed this, it may be time to revamp your eCommerce portal.

It may be a difficult plunge to take, but there's no point wasting time building a fully automated supply chain if you're going to forget giving your customers a seemless digital experience. This post investigates mobile friendly sites that enhance digital supply chains. 


Some basics you should know about building a site for mobile devices

The more friction you remove in your customer’s journey, the easier it will be for them to engage with your brand. Take the below image as an example, it outlines three easy steps from product search to purchase.


A mobile-friendly site is easy to load on a small mobile device, and traditionally this was accomplished by hosting two different websites; one for your desktop users and one for your mobile users.

However, the Google algorithm that was introduced last year has made this tactic redundant, and you’ll find that in most ‘how-to’ articles on creating a mobile friendly site don't recommend doing that.

Luckily there are web-hosting providers such as Wordpress that offer themes that are responsive across both your desktop and mobile, and it’s simply a matter of choosing a theme that best suits the needs of your business.

Test your site against potential objectives of your customers, whether it be finding your office location, purchasing your products, or reading product information, the process should be clear, concise, and easy for new and returning customers.

"Mobile shoppers put ease of use foremost when it comes to mobile shopping sites, with 48% of respondents citing it as the most important quality of a mobile site they visit” writes MediaPost on the importance of delivering a strong mobile experience.

Did you know: 79% of online shoppers said they would not return to a website to make another purchase if they experience poor performance? And it doesn’t stop there: 44% of online shoppers say that slow online transactions make them anxious about the success of a transaction and that roughly 68% of online carts are abandoned.


Image source.

You can avoid losing customers from a poor eCommerce experience by you using a mobile template that is consistent across all devices, or in other words, it’s responsive to various screen sizes. You can test whether or not your mobile site is friendly with the Mobile-Friendly Test available from Google.

Solutions for the transportation, logistics and postal services industries

Ensuring all your customers can interact with you easily is something that can benefit all SMEs and enterprise organisations, but the transportation and logistics industries require a particularly high level of mobility and usability as well. Taking the mobile-first mindset from your eCommerce site to your backend operations will also have a great effect on your bottom line.

Many warehouse managers today are using mobile technologies as a catalyst for improving fulfillment, allowing you to move from automation in a single process to a broad integration of the latest technologies across all of your warehouse processes.

You may have a mobile workforce that require support systems to handle their tasks and fulfill your orders. So ensuring you implement a mobile-first strategy to your business operations will not only help make your workforce more mobile, but it will help create efficiencies in other areas such as:

  • Greater flexibility
  • Easier reporting
  • Streamlining management processes including easier reporting tools
  • Faster scanning and signature collection
  • Full traceability of deliveries

Mobile and wireless technology that automates and streamlines inventory, storage and logistics processes is key to providing flawless fulfillment. Mobile technology in the warehouse also has its benefits for management, allowing them to spend more time on the floor rather than pinned to the desk completing paper work.


Final thoughts

Although mobile sites have been around for a few years now, many logistics IT and operations managers are thinking about what these changes mean for the operations of their business.

The prolific increase in mobile eCommerce has pushed many business into a customer-centric zone of website design and maintenance, and along with this change has arisen the importance of a seamless customer experience without any website lagging or crashing.

What will important for the longevity of your business in the future is an easy customer journey equipped with a fast loading mobile eCommerce platform that is responsive across multiple devices.

Once the customer has purchased on your eCommerce site, it will be important to ensure you deliver quickly and flawlessly with the help of an efficient strategy for supply chain management. There are a number of ways you can ensure your order fulfillment goes without a hitch, and we’ve covered optimization tactics such as implementing wearables in the warehouse, and robotic process automation to ensure your business can remain competitive.

A bad customer experience on a mobile phone unfortunately leads to a lost customer, and in this day and age of eCommerce giants like Amazon and Alibaba, that is a sacrifice most businesses can’t afford to make.

Get your free pass for the CeMAT AUSTRALIA 2016 Exhibition to learn more about intralogistics and materials handling to improve your supply chain.

Topics: Supply Chain Management