May 5, 2015

The Importance of Mobile E-Commerce


Capitalize on Mobile Dollars and Ditch the Abandoned Shopping Carts

It’s no secret that now more than ever people all over the globe not only own a cell phone, but are on their phones for a majority of the day. In a 2015 study, the PEW Research Center found that 64% of American adults have a smartphone, a 29% increase since spring of 2011. In addition, of those 64% of American adults, 7% only have their smartphone to access the internet. The PEW research cited having “neither traditional broadband service at home, nor easily available alternatives for going online other than their cell phone” as the reasons. And with steep prices and constant up-charging for no apparent reason by traditional, at-home broadband companies, it will be no surprise when this 7% drastically increases. So what does this mean for retailers and brands selling their products and services online? One thing’s certain–you better have a high functioning, mobile friendly e-commerce interface.

Why It’s Important

Long gone are the days where people go to a brick and mortar store to first check out a product.  Nowadays, when consumers walk into a store, chances are they’ve already seen and interacted with your products online, and hopefully, done thorough research and compared competitors’ models.  This evolution of how consumers shop has also shifted the paradigm of how consumers purchase.  While some studies show that consumers prefer to make purchases in-store, in no way does this mean you shouldn’t enhance or invest in your e-commerce functionality.

Don’t Lose Out

While all of this may be obvious, you’d be shocked at how many retailers and brands still aren’t utilizing their mobile budgets–and it’s effect is astronomical. Drawn from its client base, MarketLive produced a report in 2014 that demonstrated how Smartphone visits increased by 269% in Q1 alone, which is 27% of overall traffic. They noted, however, that while “traffic and cart additions rose significantly […] nine out of ten smartphone carts were abandoned.” The reason: ineffective and complicated checkout processes. Some argue that maybe those people went to the physical store, and ended up buying those products, and that very well may be–but would you really want to risk that when you already have a potential purchase sitting in your customer’s virtual cart? I think not.

Final Thought

With trusted and successful third party payment systems like PayPal, Google Checkout, Authorize.net, etc., there are solid ways to transform the burdensome online checkout for your customers. Even so, that might not be the complete fix, so be sure to consult your mobile team or hire consultants/experts to make sure your mobile e-commerce site is doing all it can to keep consumers engaged.  Check out some best practices on conversion rate optimization here and get the most out of your mobile traffic.  Not only will you get shoppers spending more time on your site, but you can lower your abandon shopping cart rate.