Mobile Commerce: top priority for online retailers in 2014
As the number of mobile devices in the hands of customers grows, so too does the importance of leveraging these mobile phones and tablets as a way to engage customers. Now, online retailers are putting mobile commerce at the top of their priority list for 2014, with merchants reconsidering how mobile devices can affect everything from marketing to eCommerce operations.
According to a report from Shop.org, more than half (53 percent) of retailers marked mobile commerce as a top priority moving forward in 2014. They are looking to improve the optimization of their websites, design sites specifically tuned for the mobile shopping experience and develop stronger ties between in-store and mobile interactions.
“Retailers grew their digital business with impressive strength in 2013, reflecting their laser focus on improving customer experience across all of their channels and on striving for a ‘mobile-first’ mindset that will be a key driver in all business decisions,” said Shop.org Executive Director Vicki Cantrell, as quoted by Mobile Marketing Watch .
“In 2014, they will continue investing to further their relationships with customers, exploring everything from personalization and site usability to all things mobile.”
Cantrell noted that in 2013, retailer revenue driven from smartphone-based transactions grew 113 percent year-over-year, while tablet revenue increased by 86 percent during the same time frame. In total, 21 percent of annual revenue came from mobile devices in 2013, and that figure is sure to grow as more and more customers get their hands on these mobile devices.
Online Retailers thinking broadly about leveraging mobile commerce
For many online retailers, mobile devices are simply another platform that consumers can use to access their eCommerce website. People shop on their mobile phones for a variety of reasons – they may be bored on the bus, or they may just be on the couch with their tablet and don’t want to turn their computer on.
The key here is convenience. People want the ability to access relevant shopping information quickly. However, if online retailers haven’t been evaluating how their websites performs on tablets and smartphones, they may be missing out on sales. Sites that are hard to navigate or slow to load may discourage customers from taking the time to browse these sites. Additionally, product information and promotions must be consistent across all of these channels. Online retailers need to establish a mobile commerce strategy that syncs with their overall ecommerce strategy. Because at the end of the day, no one wants to pay more because they choose to shop from a mobile phone or tablet.