This sponsored post is produced in association with Mozu.
Mobile has moved on from being “the new black” in ecommerce to become the default experience. And while customer engagement can be a journey, making a purchase should never be — customers want push-button purchasing ability that they can do wherever whenever.
Bluefly understands the important role mobile plays in ecommerce. The ecommerce retailer recently transitioned from a traditional retail model to a fashion and design marketplace with over 2,500 brands, relaunching their website with a significant focus on creating a robust and integrated mobile front to facilitate a holistic customer experience for their users.
“People have been talking about ‘the year of mobile,’ but we like to call it ‘the year of NO mobile,’ because there’s no distinction anymore. Everything is mobile now,” says Carly Rosenberg, President of Bluefly. “We need to stop talking about this as a separate channel because mobile is the channel. ”
That said, it took some proactive investments for Bluefly to move to the head of the pack on the mobile front
Mobile and a holistic customer experience
Bluefly started out with a popular ecommerce platform, but it proved difficult to manage and required heavy resources. After six months of serious deliberation over picking another ecommerce platform, they decided to go with cloud commerce platform Mozu for their relaunch.
Mobile was the main catalyst for the switch. Bluefly saw roughly half of its traffic and a third of its conversion via mobile even before it transitioned to Mozu as an ecommerce platform. The company observed that because they had a poor mobile experience, mobile users would wait until they could log back in using desktops before buying. Desktop conversion was 3X as much as mobile. There was no question they were losing transactions.
Older ecommerce platforms – like the one Bluefly used before – were specialized for desktop or laptop experiences. Mobile was an add-on, which is a common pain point for many online retailers. As a result of lack of mobile integration on the part of ecommerce platform vendors, ecommerce companies have had to develop and maintain separate mobile sites, and the integration of both the customer experience and administration across screens has been next to impossible to manage smoothly.
In addition to struggling to make mobile conversions, it was impossible for Bluefly to create and schedule push notifications with its old platform. This meant that Bluefly — and other ecommerce companies stuck on similar platforms — had to prioritize one screen experience over others. With the Mozu platform, Bluefly is now able to keep its customers engaged with the creation and scheduling of push notifications, and update content on mobile, desktop, and app within the same tool.
Customer adoption has outpaced retail’s response
Bluefly was not alone in experiencing these pain points. Customer adoption of mobile technology has been much faster than ecommerce companies have been able to keep up with — it’s such a rapid shift that many of the most widely-used platform vendors of the past decade have been rendered obsolete by users going “mobile first.”
Now, ecommerce companies have interconnected needs that all stem from the same roots: the need to meet customers on mobile. Retailers require integrated management for content, pricing, promotions, and customer communication. Customer information and carts need to be seamlessly unified, with payment options and preferences saved throughout the customer’s experience and across screens.
With Bluefly’s relaunch, the company can seamlessly transition between screens and customer information is carried through — they can also integrate with third-party personalization vendors if they prefer through the Mozu Marketplace.
And personalization is right up there with omnichannel customer experiences when it comes to the priorities of ecommerce companies today.
“Personalization [is] an area we knew we needed to improve. We have over 2,500 brands, but it’s difficult to have that many brands in front of one customer,” Rosenberg says. “We’ve been wanting to build preference and personalization tools to help understand what customers look for in certain brands and get those brands in front of the customers on a more tailored basis.” The Mozu platform has segmentation built into its core, which is even extended to functions like push notifications and analytics.
The future of Bluefly and ecommerce
All the barriers that prevent mobile from becoming the default channel for ecommerce are going away, says Rosenberg. “Any friction that’s in the mobile purchase path is going to get better. Take mobile payments; it’s probably one of the hardest things to do well on mobile right now and you’re going to see that friction melt away too.”
The new normal for customer behavior will transform how retailers operate. Companies will tailor their services and products specifically for a “mobile first” generation, at times even completely ignoring the more traditional desktop.
“I was talking with a friend who just started a new company; she’s totally focused on in-app advertising,” Rosenberg says, “They’re not even looking at desktop advertising, and they are already having incredible success focusing on the mobile generation.”
It appears the future of ecommerce is already here, and it’s all happening on mobile.
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