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Living Direct exec: 20pc of revenue stems from cross-device shopping

RANCHO MIRAGE, CA – A Living Direct executive at the Mobile Shopping Summit 2015 said that cross-device purchasing accounts for a significant portion of sales, meaning that mobile cannot be siloed because content must be optimized across all channels.

During the “Mobile Friendly, From Concept To Launch & Beyond” session, the executive discussed the consumer appliance and furniture retailer’s journey into using responsive design for mobile, sparked in part by the desire for speedier transactions. Living Direct now makes sure it prioritizes content for every page and provides faster load times, especially as its customers shop across a variety of digital platforms.

“One thing we pride ourselves on is breaking down silos,” said Justin Aronstein, director of Web and analytics at Living Direct, Austin, TX. “Having no silos really enables us to think what’s good for the company.”

The mobile journey
Living Direct’s mobile journey kicked off in fall 2013, when it first rolled out an mdot site. However, while offering mobile purchasing capabilities was imperative for the online retailer, its vendor partnership was hampering the experience.

If a consumer visited the mobile site, the desktop site would have to go through the vendor server before finally reaching that user, resulting in slow load times. This prompted Living Direct to turn in-house for undertaking responsive design and developing a single code base for all devices.

The marketer also invested in larger product images, which resonated positively with shoppers.

Living Direct also encourages customers to call for shopping support

“We went through lots of work to do image compression and it paid off,” Mr. Aronstein said. “We also added some social cues, with reviews being a really large part.”

To ramp up revenue, Living Direct needed to become a mobile-first company, starting with its developers and culminating with senior-level marketing executives.

“We made a decision to go responsive because we only had four developers over seven sites,” Mr. Aronstein said. “I think it works really well for us.”

Seeing cross-device revenue
Mr. Aronstein revealed that Living Direct sees 20 percent of its revenue come from cross-device channels, proving that consumers are switching between desktop, tablets and smartphones when researching and purchasing home products.

The brand is also working on attribution to bring mobile revenue even higher.

“We collect every video view, every product view, every wish list add,” Mr. Aronstein said. “We’re constantly collecting tons of information.”

The next step for Living Direct is ramping up on the amount of log-ins. It also wants to enhance personalization, as well as item recommendation across devices.

Ultimately, all online retailers should be thinking mobile-first, whether they decide to go responsive or not. Having a mobile-first strategy enables marketers to focus on speed, streamlined transactions and prioritized content.

There is also a massive opportunity to tear down barriers between content and products.

As mobile commerce continues gaining traction among consumers, cross-channel shopping will undoubtedly also experience a heightened profile. It is for this reason that brands must offer streamlined shopping capabilities.

“If you silo mobile off by itself, you’re never going to see the return on investment,” Mr. Aronstein said.

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York