We all know mobile matters. If you look at any of the articles on e-commerce trends in recent years, many include the growing number of mobile shoppers. In fact, it’s so big it even has a name: m-commerce.
The growing interest in m-commerce isn’t so surprising. Americans love their phones, like A LOT (on average, over 3 hours per day). Add that to a 2017 Pew research study that found that 77% of Americans now own smartphones, and you’ve got a recipe for some mighty fine m-commerce.
So, maybe you don’t need to be convinced that mobile matters… but even so, it’s important to be aware of how it matters, and why. This week, we’re not so much dispatching advice as compiling research. Also, we’re kind of hoping to blow your mind with some stats, at least once. We know it happened to us a few times while doing the research.
ONE: Mobile users love to browse
Recent studies show that over half searches now occur on mobile devices, with Google taking the lion’s share. We already knew working Google ads was hugely important, and now add this: they better be mobile friendly. And, your own mobile site had better be quick, since finding another product is just a swipe away.
TWO: Mobile payment preferences are different
Consumers want convenience, especially when it comes to payment. In fact, mobile consumers behave a bit differently than desktop consumers when it comes to payment methods. Offerings like Apple Pay, Paypal and Amazon payments may have an edge in the future market.
A 2016 Business Insider article found that Apple Pay was dominating mobile purchasing – taking three out of four payments, despite having only 43% of the overall “smartphone installed base”. Most likely, this is due to convenience and security. Just as people will be turned off by slow loading speeds, inefficient or fussy payments are a big barrier to breaking into the mobile market.
THREE: Social Media is key for m-commerce success
As usual, social media sites cannot be ignored. Facebook alone takes an average of 50 minutes per day from its users, which is only 17 minutes less than we spend eating and drinking. Add in that sites like Facebook and Pinterest are adding “buy now” buttons, and it’s easy to see that SM is critical to mobile selling.
FOUR: When it comes to purchases: desktop is still king
Despite the fact that people are shopping around on their phones, desktops remain undoubtedly at the top of the e-commerce market. A 2015 Comscore study found that even though consumers spent 59% of their time on mobile devices, they only spent 15% of their dollars there – with 85% going to desktop purchases. It’s no shock that, just a year earlier, m-commerce made up only 11.6% of the $303 billion U.S. e-commerce market.
FIVE: … but it won’t be for long.
So m-commerce isn’t exactly where all the big bucks are… yet. As is often the case with anything that involves consumers and technology, a lot can change, fast. A Business Insider article from late 2016 predicted that, if m-commerce trends continue upwards, that the market will hit $284 billion by 2020, giving it 45% of the e-commerce market in the U.S. (Check out the article for a pretty staggering graph of this growth).
At this point, you’re probably thinking: Okay, Okay… I get it! Mobile matters. But how does this impact me, as a seller? And how do I keep up?
The good news is: if you’re selling through Amazon and eBay, which you better be, then you’ll be in good shape for mobile market on those channels. These sites are huge, and they’ve got both the money and the desire to keep up with changing markets.
Even so, you don’t want to neglect your own website – since we’ve told you it is pretty darn important. That means that now is the time to make your site as mobile friendly as possible, taking into account all the mobile specific hang-ups like small screen size, clean page layouts and easy checkout processes.
Even though Whitebox can’t fix all of that for you, we’ve helped tons of clients move towards better website experiences. And, we’re always willing to give advice on making the process easier. That way, you can jump onto the m-commerce bandwagon before it leaves you in the dust.