Mobile commerce is the fastest growing sales channel in eCommerce. In 2011, 41% of mobile device consumers purchased products with their mobile devices. Analysts predict that trend will continue, with shopping via mobile reaching $119 billion in 2015—representing about 8% of total eCommerce sales. We’re going to see the landscape change drastically in just a few years and mobile will be threatening to take over more of the market as new mobile and tablet devices are released every year.
Only 5% of the largest e-retailers offer mCommerce sites or iPhone-optimized sites. 85% of merchants, however, say that mobile commerce is a key focus of their retail store strategy in 2012, up from 68% in 2011. If these numbers don’t include you, they might include your worthy competitors.
The trend and statistics suggest the need for not only a user-friendly “desktop” online store but the increasing need for a mobile store. This is likely how your customers are already shopping, and they are likely expecting a seamless mobile-optimized experience from your online store.
So what should your mobile site have as part of best practices? Here are top 3 must-haves in a good mobile commerce solution:
- The design and build of your mobile eCommerce store should be seamlessly optimized and compatible with the most popular mobile and tablet devices. That means giving consideration to not only the devices themselves, but also the operating systems, screen sizes, and everything else. More importantly, consideration should be given to the layout of your Webstore in both landscape and portrait modes as users tend to flip between the two for ease of use and navigation. Utilizing HTML 5 and responsive design is one way to accomplish this.
- Captivate and engage your audience via your mobile commerce strategy. Provide your consumers with ongoing coupons and promotions on your mobile webstore. In-store coupons, QR tags linking to discount offers, scheduled promotions, rewards and loyalty programs are all crucial to keeping them engaged and coming back for more!
- Comfort your audience by ensuring your mobile checkout process utilizes best in class encrypted and SSL-based checkout and payment gateway. Consumers want to be “plugged in” whenever they can, and there are free unsecured internet access points offered almost everywhere you go today. While a customer’s internet connection may not be fully secured, ensuring that your checkout pipeline is mobile optimized and secure can reduce cart abandonments, speed up the checkout process, and reduce a potential hacker from scraping any confidential information. For example, Checkout by Amazon Mobile offers sellers the same A to Z Guarantees and security as Amazon.com itself.
These are just a few features you may want to think about when creating a mobile Webstore strategy. With the advent of new coding languages and standards, coupled with increasingly innovative smartphone features, there is an infinite and untapped potential your Webstore has to offer your consumers. No matter how small or large of a retailer you are, your consumers either will be or are expecting a mobile experience from your Webstore. Going mobile may now be as important as going online!