Fast, Not Furious: Strengthening Relationships Through Quick, Reliable Mobile Service

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Customer Strategy
Customer Experience
Though we speed through our day, we don't have time to run in circles. We want to move forward and we want our information to travel at lightning speed--just like us. Yet, while smartphones and tablets cater to our on-the-go lifestyles, many mobile sites don't measure up, leading to higher bounce rates due to frustration from lag and incorrect image and text sizing. But for Bonobos, a Web-based premium men's apparel e-tailer, poor mobile service was not an option.

Though we speed through our day, we don't have time to run in circles. We want to move forward and we want our information to travel at lightning speed--just like us. Yet, while smartphones and tablets cater to our on-the-go lifestyles, many mobile sites don't measure up, leading to higher bounce rates due to frustration from lag and incorrect image and text sizing. But for Bonobos, a Web-based premium men's apparel e-tailer, poor mobile service was not an option.Founded in 2007, Bonobos aims to offer a stress-free, five-star experience, including free shipping, free returns, and lifetime returns as a way to encourage customers to find the style that's right for them.

"Bonobos started as a pants company, and coming up with something that just fit and flattered guys a lot better," says Richard Mumby, vice president of marketing at Bonobos. "What we've grown into is a multi-category, cross-category brand with an array of style needs and wants of male consumers. As opposed to a lot of other very successful brands that afford men a sort of ideal to aspire to, we've learned that our customer has a really interesting, dynamic, active life, and he just wants to look good while doing the things he's already doing."

But when it came to serving their tech-savvy clientele, Bonobos realized its website was not satisfying their customers' appetite for mobile. "The reality that we face in our business is that buying pants for the first time online requires a good deal of context, and we haven't quite been able to allocate the resources to figure out how to do that through mobile devices," Mumby says.

Worried that its mobile offerings would weaken the company's five-star reputation, Bonobos implemented Mobify's enterprise platform to support a cohesive strategy that optimized the key elements of its desktop website for mobile, essentially blending the two channels into one. With identical URLs across platforms, customers are just as likely to discover Bonobos while searching on their mobile phone as they are on their desktop--great for SEO, and convenient for customers. When the desktop site gets updated, all the changes automatically trickle down to the mobile site, while text and images automatically detect screen size and resolution, providing an optimized experienced for each customer.

"Our SEO/SEM strategy didn't need to change at all for mobile versus desktop because the URLs are the same," Mumby says. "It created fluidity from a marketing standpoint."

By recognizing customer habits and working to enhance the customer experience, Bonobos represents a prime example of how listening to customers can bring about positive change and stronger relationships. After one month Bonobos saw a 38.6 percent increase in monthly mobile traffic, and an 8 percent increase in total mobile transactions. Its mobile conversion rate also grew to .03 percent higher than the desktop conversion rate, as opposed to being 1.14 percent lower than desktop conversions the month before.

These mobile enhancements not only streamline the purchase process and eliminate frustrations, but also strengthen relationships as customers realize that their patronage has meaning. These efforts cultivate new and current relationships while also building brand advocacy. Those who are pleased with their experience are more likely to recommend, making these innovations a two-for-one deal, as they serve as relationship builders and indirect marketing efforts that go the extra mile.

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EXPERT OPINION