By now we all know that influencer marketing is proven to reach people, to engage them and, best of all, inspire them to act.
And while it’s great news that influencer marketing is an established, and growing, part of many brands’ digital strategy there is a slight concern that, in all the excitement, some brands may have forgotten one tiny detail… their store.
It’s predicted that, by 2021, mobile could make up almost three quarters of all e-commerce sales (a whopping $3.5 trillion). And while this is only going to add to the importance of the influencers who play such a key role at the beginning of that mobile shopping journey, there is some worrying news at the end of the process.
Today, mobile shopping currently suffers from an 85.6% average shopping cart abandonment rate – worse than either tablet or desktop.
So a lot of brands, whether they’ve noticed it or not, may find themselves in a situation where their influencer strategy is driving amazing engagement and traffic, but their mobile site is letting all that good work go to waste.
It may have taken a bit of time, but Instagram has now created a platform that makes the distance between inspiration and a transaction (potentially) short and beautifully simple.
But while an upwards swipe on an Instagram Story can land you in exactly the right place to add to your basket, some brands are not delivering the same quick and easy path to the checkout – and are losing customers along the way.
With Amazon one-click payment and Paypal Touch now offering that same immediate checkout, customers expect mobile shopping to be faster and smarter than ever. That means, even if you couldn’t possibly deliver a one-click checkout, your mobile shopping experience has to meet some pretty high standards.
The most effective influencer marketing customer journeys we see are generally a three click process – one to move from Instagram to a brand’s landing page, one to add to basket and one to checkout.
Apparently, 84% of people have had trouble completing a mobile transaction – and if that difficulty quickly follows a positive social media experience with your influencer, then you have not only damaged your brand but also your content creator’s brand too.
A speedy checkout is a big deal for customers, but the hard work doesn’t stop there. Customer journey, cart abandonment and effective mobile e-commerce are a science – which means you need to look closely at every part of the process – and be prepared to test, learn and improve.
It starts with getting the basics right – are you using east tappable buttons? Do you have an intuitive design? Are your form fields big enough to fill out on mobile? – and continues all the way through to understanding the key behavioural factors – would using a guest checkout function and only asking customers to register an account at the end work better for you?
Ultimately, it’s about remembering that the entire experience – from that first moment of inspiration and engagement on Instagram right through to the order confirmation email – should all be dedicated to giving your user the best possible experience.
Even keeping up with the payment options that your audience prefers can be the difference between a sale and a ditched cart. Just look at Venmo who, despite starting life as a bar-tab splitting tool for millennials (and despite some worrying data issues) is now the preferred payment choice for all kinds of customers across millions of retailers.
A seamless journey from inspiration to purchase is a serious competitive advantage for your brand – not least because it makes it easier for you to calculate the direct value of influencer marketing.
But, in the same way the power of social can be harnessed to promote your brand, it can also be used to expose a poor or outdated shopping experience. Facebook have even introduced their own function that allows customers to report a bad shopping experience when they’ve clicked through a Facebook ad.
It’s worth remembering why you bought into the power of influencer marketing in the first place – to talk to an audience in the way they want to be talked to. The same rule applies just as much to your checkout as it does to your content – make sure the experience is right for the person holding your basket.