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Shoes.com kicks up 21pc increase in purchases made on mobile

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December 31, 2015

Shoes.com is kicking up mobile sales

Shoes.com is kicking up mobile sales

Shoes.com is tightening the laces on its mobile strategy after seeing 31.8 percent of purchases stem from smartphones this year, up by nearly 21 percent since 2014.

The online retailer has been experiencing a significant surge in mobile traffic, suggesting that consumers are now more than ever leveraging their personal devices to browse and shop for footwear. As smartphones become primary shopping screens for a large amount of the public, online marketers will be forced to adapt new mobile-specific technologies to satisfy customer demand, such as visual search capabilities and interactive product views.

“Thirty-one point eight percent of purchases on SHOEme.ca were made via a mobile phone in 2015, which is up 20.9 percent from last year,” said Roger Hardy, CEO of Shoes.com. “With mobile adoption rates continuing to increase among Canadian shoppers, we’re expecting to see the percentage of orders being made on a mobile device increase significantly by the end of 2016.”

Identifying consumer habits
Shoes.com employed its analytics team to collect data from more than 140,000 orders made within Canadian metropolitan areas between January 1, 2015 and December 15, 2015.

When it came to mobile sales, the retailer revealed that nearly 32 percent of purchases stemmed from smartphones this year, up 20.9 percent since 2014.

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The Shoes.com mobile site

Meanwhile, mobile device traffic also surged even higher, proving that smartphones were the shopping device of choice for a large portion of Shoes.com’s customers. The brand saw 46.8 percent of site visitors browse for footwear with their smartphones in 2015.

Mobile-enabled visits have jumped up 14.8 percent since last year.

These skyrocketing numbers certainly imply that shoe marketers with mobile and online offerings must work to optimize checkout experiences and ensure that consumers continue repeat visits. This may require the implementation of several new technologies to help bridge the physical and digital worlds.

Tapping visual search
While footwear retailers’ mobile sites should offer eye-catching imagery and streamlined navigational options, an increasing amount of brands are also leveraging the capabilities of visual search.

Shoe Carnival recently invested in mobile visual search technology, enabling customers to point a smartphone at an item of interest and find it in the retailer’s inventory (see story).

Consequently, if an individual is walking down a street and spots an enviable pair of sneakers, he or she may pull out a smartphone, grab a photo of the shoes and use the search function to pull up the same pair or an extremely similar product.

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An example of scan-to-shop visual search technology

This rapidly rising feature will undoubtedly have a strong effect on impromptu purchases, as consumers will not be forced to sift through pages of inventory until they find the footwear they are searching for.

Tapping location-based targeting is another smart move for grabbing new customers’ attention.

In a significant step forward for its mobile local strategy, Shoe Carnival also optimized its store location pages for mobile, driving a 200 percent increase in on-page interactions, and began testing mobile wallet offers to connect with shoppers via beacons (see story).

Nevertheless, social media remains a stalwart force for online retailers seeking to build significant fan bases. As “buy now” buttons on Facebook and Instagram continue permeating users’ feeds, marketers using this tactic can expect to see imminent return on investment.

“The Shoes.com advertising team used multiple mobile advertising channels including Google affiliates and Facebook to drive sales and the best mobile experience,” Mr. Hardy said.

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

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Alex Samuely is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. Reach her at alex@mobilemarketer.com.

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