Mobile Apps Changing Customers’ E-Commerce Expectations

June 2, 2014 Ben Myers

Canada-Post-featured

We used to call e-commerce the retail game-changer. Now, we know that e-commerce itself is undergoing a dramatic change because of mobile devices.

The need for a mobile experience crept suddenly, yet consistently, from the corners of our vision. Now, it’s at the forefront.

Many companies will admit that they’re still working to improve and perfect their full-sized browser-based shopping experience, but there’s no better shopping cart than the one that everyone carries in their pocket.

Discovering the best in mobile e-commerce

Kerry Munro Canada Post

Kerry Munro is Group President – Digital Delivery Network at Canada Post.

This is one of the many reasons why Canada Post has decided to integrate mobile as a category of its own for the third annual E-commerce Innovation Awards, with one of the awards dedicated to Best Mobile Experience both large and small companies.

Kerry Munro, Group President – Digital Delivery Network at Canada Post, said that simplicity and utility are the top characteristics of a great mobile e-commerce experience.

“It’s available when the consumer needs it and it provides the type of service that the customer is expecting,” Munro said. “That doesn’t mean it has to be funky or sexy, it just has to work.”

Less time online, getting more done

The Frank & Oak app enables easy online browsing and ordering.

The Frank & Oak app enables easy online browsing and ordering.

Though Canadians are among the world leaders in average time spent online each month, that number shrunk in 2013 by 17% year-over-year. This, of course, doesn’t mean Canadians are using the Internet less per se; it indicates that more time is being spent on task-specific mobile apps.

We’re just getting down to business faster, said Munro.

“That’s the evolution that’s starting to define the mobile experience,” he added.

Canada Post is itself embracing mobile with an app on iOS and Android that allows users to quickly look up postal codes, track packages and find post offices or rates.

By indulging Canadians’ desire for constant updates on our e-commerce order deliveries, the app has recorded more than 40.6 million transactions for tracking parcels alone in 2014 – already more than were completed all of last year.

Accomplishing most common tasks

Munro said the key to the success of the app is that it allows users to complete their most common tasks in an efficient way.

“Now more than ever… the control is entirely in [the consumer’s] hands,” he said.

The third annual Canada Post e-Eommerce Innovation Awards this September should be a celebration of the Canadian companies that are hitting the nail on the head. Many past nominees, including Frank & Oak and Lowe’s have created compelling mobile experiences to compliment and enhance their online or in-store retailing.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re the biggest retailer in Canada or whether you’re the person who just started one today,” Munro said. “[Mobile apps are] going to help define your ability to connect with a customer.”

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