Leverage Mobile to Strengthen Digital Commerce

September 20, 2017
Contributor: Chris Pemberton

Focus on key attributes of mobile to drive profitable digital commerce growth.

Mobile plays a growing role in B2C and B2B digital commerce, but look beyond promotions to acquire and retain high-value, loyal customers by using mobile for convenience and ease of use. For instance, mobile order-ahead functionality increases loyalty, frequency and average order value (AOV) with easier customization and check-out. As a result of leveraging mobile in its digital commerce, Taco Bell mobile AOV is 30% higher than in-store.  

“A sound digital commerce strategy incorporates mobile characteristics into the customer experience,” says Jennifer Polk, research director, Gartner for Marketers.

Many marketing leaders are either stuck in disbelief that mobile matters to their business or caught in a cycle choosing between the mobile web and a mobile app. Understand and dispel these myths to take full advantage of the benefits of mobile.

Myth 1: Mobile doesn’t apply to how our customers buy

Some marketers still associate mobile with millennials or assume their products or services are too complex to sell through mobile. But the role of mobile in the buying experience extends far beyond just check-out and conversion. Mobile is instrumental in discovery, research and evaluation across verticals and customer demographics.

Myth 2: We need to choose between the mobile web and a native mobile app

It’s not a competition. Both are parts of a connected and cohesive digital commerce strategy. The mobile web can help you reach and engage a broad audience, and a mobile app can enable deeper interactions with a smaller, highly engaged group of customers.

Read More: Tame the Mobile Web vs. Native App Debate

Six key attributes of mobile can boost digital commerce results — personalization, value, engagement, relevance, consistency and ease of use. Here we focus on three of these attributes:


Lululemon athletica creates a customized shopping profile for each customer and suggests relevant products each time the customer opens the app. Connecting a mobile device ID to a customer profile lets you integrate interactions, such as past purchases across other touchpoints, provided customers are logged into those touchpoints. This capability enables personalized digital commerce experiences such as product recommendations and offers.


Target’s mobile app lets users opt-in to alerts of new offers, which they can then view and save in the app to redeem in-store. Engagement techniques such as this help customers see the value of your mobile site or app. Getting engagement right in the context of mobile digital commerce means understanding what customers want, need and expect at each stage of their journey.

Ease of Use

Starbucks offers in-app mobile payment integrated with its loyalty program. It lets customers pay through the app at physical stores using quick response (QR) code scanning systems as well as order ahead, prepay and pick-up in store. Enabling one-click payment, using mobile wallets and allowing customers to designate a preferred payment method address issues surrounding checkout and transaction completion. Mobile payments now account for nearly 25% of all transactions at Starbucks’ U.S. locations.

“Focus your efforts where they matter most — on developing a digital commerce experience that fully supports customers throughout their journey,” says Polk.

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