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Taking advantage of the mobile commerce boom

July 29, 2014

The market for mobile commerce reached over $40 billion last year, and is expected to reach $50 billion by the end of 2014, according to a report by e-commerce analytics platform Custora.

The market for mobile commerce reached over $40 billion last year, and is expected to reach $50 billion by the end of 2014, according to a report by e-commerce analytics platform Custora. 

In the past four years the mobile commerce market has actually grown 19-fold, or 1875 percent, the report, noted.

Recent developments in mobile technology have provided e-commerce retailers with the opportunity to streamline customers’ shopping experience. As mobile websites become more accessible, consumers can be expected to visit retailers through their smart phones more often. In fact, Custora’s report explained that in the first quarter of 2014 alone 36.9 percent of online store visits came from mobile devices. 

Optimizing the consumer experience to boost sales
Part of the reason more customers are turning to their mobile devices for purchasing is that retailers have begun to streamline the smart phone shopping experience across multiple channels, explained Business News Daily. Consumers expect retailers’ apps, websites, social media presence and email campaigns to be simple to navigate and accessible. 

Businesses’ ability to optimize multiple consumer access channels will help define their success in the mobile commerce market.  Having just a working mobile website won’t solve a retailer’s e-commerce issues as customers want content delivered to them – rather than searching it out themselves.

Even e-mail marketing campaigns are an effective way to drive mobile sales. Surprisingly, much more so than social media networks, according to the E-Commerce Pulse Report. E-mail drove 26.7 percent of mobile phone sales, as opposed to just 0.6 percent for social media. 

Because of this, every aspect of a company’s online and mobile presence must be developed to the point of perfection in order to capture the attention of mobile shoppers. While mobile commerce is rapidly on the rise, many customers still believe that if they take to their smart phone for shopping, the experience will be frustrating. 

“Consumers have been burnt by enterprise’s slow adoption to Web 2.0,” Seamas Egan, manager of revenue operations for e-mail marketing service Campaigner, told Business News Daily.

“Many consumers expect to receive non-responsive emails and know that if they want to buy the product [via mobile], they will have to deal with hard-to-read text, difficulty entering their credit card information, etc. So, ultimately, they end up purchasing through their PC for a guaranteed easy process.”

Part of the problem for some companies is a branded app that can efficiently direct consumers to a checkout page. The cost of creating such an app has grown, and yet there is still no guarantee that a consumer who downloads the app will ever even open it. This has led some businesses to become less concerned about their apps’ performance than the revenue they produce. 

Changing app designs will take into account mobile commerce, according to Business News Daily. Features such as deep-linking content will enhance app performance and make consumers’ shopping experiences more efficient. 

Don’t forget where you came from
As businesses rush to optimize the consumer experience in order to capture the growing segment of the population shopping on their phones, it is important to not forget that e-commerce doesn’t define your company – it merely enhances its performance. 

“Almost all of our clients are small businesses, and we see the most success in the small businesses that are focused on their core business,” said John Jannotti, co-founder of food-delivery app Foodler, told Business News Daily. 

“They recognize and participate in some of the [mobile] trends that are changing their businesses, like online ordering, social media marketing and review sites, but their energy is spent, first and foremost, on making great food and providing great service. Then they work with partners they can trust to handle the rest.”

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