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Build.com exec: Speed and optimization are essential for mobile sales

During the Turning Traffic into Sales: Making the Mobile Experience Better for Today’s Consumers session the executive made that retailers can prevent losing sales through mobile by making sure their app and mobile site load within about a second. The difference between a commerce app that runs slow and clunky, compared to those that are streamlined can be a huge difference in sales.

“For us speed is key,” said Scott Jungling, front-end manager at Build.com “We fret about hundreds of milliseconds that we can save.

“We are trying to reduce the amount that we send, and make sure that it is very contextual to someone’s device,” he said.

Faster is vital
The digital home improvement product retailer relies heavily on mobile traffic and sales, and without fully optimizing these mobile channels to the best of its ability its profits can be severely affected. Improving the performance of mobile platforms as a whole, especially speed can significantly increase sales.

It is a struggle for retailers to ensure these mobile platforms are running at high speeds, but it is vital.

Customers do not want to wait for pages to load, and click through multiple pages to purchase. They want a streamlined experience where they can instantly search and buy what they want because this is what mobile is all about.

If a retailer is not offering an optimized experience via mobile, shoppers will look elsewhere. Mobile technology and the over load of content has trained consumers to develop shorter attention spans, and they no longer want to bother with a bad performing Web site or app.

Membership benefits
Build.com also depends on members becoming apart of its digital platforms to increase sales and higher engagement rates. However, it is vital not to force consumers to have to log in to use a retailers services.

Services that require shoppers to log in upon launch can deter a substantial amount of potential customers. Instead retailers should focus on attempting to entice users to want to sign up.

The digital retailer is able to do this by offering features such as a favorites tab, in which registered users can save products for future purchases and to keep track of their projects. Consumers by default end up signing up for a membership because this offers a much easier experience for them, but without the retailer forcing them to.

The retailer is able to track its experiences and adjust its strategy by having customers create memberships. Build.com can see what items these shoppers have viewed or what they have saved and which they ended up purchasing.

This allows the retailer to learn from mistakes, research and prevent future errors from occurring. It is important to catch errors early on and consistently evolve platforms.

“I think for us a mistake that we have made in the past is that we tried to take the desktop experience and shrink it down for the phone,” Mr. Jungling said. “That does not always translate.

“I actually shopped on our site on a mobile device, got to the cart page and then bailed and went to desktop to buy it,” he said. “This happened because the product image was a desktop image shrunk down and I could not see the detail in what I was purchasing.

“So I went back to our mobile team and said let’s make this better. The ability to attribute someone researching on mobile and going to desktop is really hard. One of the easiest ways to do that is to get them to log in, or enticing them to log in.”

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily