Heading into a new year, with new ecommerce trends being embraced, Melanie Vala, COO, Deko, writes for Payment Expert on why a positive mobile experience remains vital in the space.
Mobiles have become a pivotal part of the shopping experience. With each passing year, the statistics favouring mobile shopping increase, further underlining the importance of having an online store configured for mobile shopping. But why is mobile such a key aspect of shopping online? Here, we examine the power of mobile and why your online store should ensure it’s optimised for more than one device.
According to Statista, mobile use numbers have grown impressively year on year. There are increasingly more users accessing the web and buying products and services from their smartphones than at any previous point in history, increasing from 52.45% of all ecommerce sales in 2016 to an all time high in 2022. This trend in increased m-commerce can be seen globally for example in the US 78% of sales traffic came from smartphones.
To run a successful eCommerce store, you need to embrace mobile solutions and give customers more flexibility about the devices they use to buy items. Mobile is no longer a nice-to-have feature; it’s a vital component of any successful eCommerce store.
Improvements in technology have given consumers more access at a faster rate. The result is an on-demand economy where shoppers can purchase at home or on the go with just a few clicks.
Whether riding public transport, waiting for an appointment, or on a lunch break, people turn to their mobiles in droves and scroll social media, read news websites, or browse their favourite online stores.
Just like how consumers expect more flexibility in how they pay for items, they also want a seamless shopping experience, no matter the device they’re browsing on. Offering fluent digital shopping is more than a trend – it’s an expectation.
One of the more apparent benefits of mobile shopping is the ability to extend reach. As a merchant, you aren’t solely relying on people buying products and services from their homes or work. Having a fully mobile-optimised website puts your business in more places.
The possibilities are endless, and shoppers can make a quick purchase while waiting for a plane to take off just before switching to Airplane Mode. Or they purchase on the platform before the tube arrives or during a train ride.
The vital importance of SEO
SEO is today a vital part of any online store’s makeup, and a mobile-optimised website can help boost rankings in search engines. In 2018, Google noted that sites configured for mobile were preferred by the search engine giant’s design pattern, meaning SEO rankings would be better.
Ranking high on search engines is no easy task. But offering a fluid mobile experience for shoppers can aid efforts and get your website in Google’s good books and consumers will be able to shop at your store from anywhere while also having more places to find you.
Being able to sell from more locations leads to higher conversions. You’re no longer relying solely on a shopper using their desktop to make a purchase and can add another way for them to buy products and services.
Research shows that smartphones account for a staggering 63% of all retail website visits, so merchants face a big opportunity to get mobile ready.
It goes without saying that increased flexibility and the opportunity to purchase with the device of their choice leads to higher customer satisfaction. A happy shopper is also more likely to leave a positive review, showcasing their satisfaction while helping boost the business’s reputation. They will also continue using your online store to buy products and services, thus becoming a regular customer. Mobile-friendly websites ultimately help build credibility and trust with customers, as they get an optimised experience no matter where they’re using the site.
How to improve mobile experiences
Navigation is everything in the world of online mobile shopping. It needs to be simple to function on a mobile device, as smartphones are smaller than desktops. Ensure all the correct buttons are visible, and users can easily navigate their way around the website when using a mobile device.
Websites with a responsive design can adapt to the user’s behaviour and environment regardless of the screen used. Responsive designs should neatly switch between standard desktop sizes and mobile devices and tablets, so you don’t need to worry about which devices users choose to access your website.
One of the most exciting developments in online shopping has been the pairing of smartphones with smart data capture capabilities, such as computer vision and augmented reality. This has started to evolve shopping experiences further and helps retailers transform the in-store experience from a transactional to an experiential one for their customers.
This new immersive experience is being powered by visual configurator tools widely offered on websites for e-commerce purchases such as furniture. These augmented reality apps offer consumers the ability to place a desk or chair in a room and interact with an item. This is rapidly becoming a win:win for consumers and merchants alike.
Historically, shopping on mobile devices has proven to be a niggly experience and anything but a receptive process. Users are unlikely to return to a website on their mobile more than once, so it’s vital to make everything effortless from the moment they land on the site. Therefore, you need to ensure the site doesn’t require too many steps for customers to make a purchase. Most importantly, establish speed, so the site runs smoothly on a mobile device.
The dependency on mobile phones to shop for products and services will only increase. As a result, merchants need to be ahead of the curve with an online store that switches between mobile and desktop without a hitch and offers customers a polished experience no matter the devices they choose for their shopping experience.