Friday, 5 October 2012

Mobile Commerce - eBay and Facebook can't be wrong

According to statistics produced by online marketplace eBay, every second someone purchases from an ecommerce store on their mobile within the UK. Also, separate figures published yesterday by social media giants Facebook, state that, out of the 1 billion regular monthly users they have, over 600 million of them access the site through their mobile devices. This begs the question that if you have yet to consider mobile users when running your online store, what are you doing?

When you combine the fact that nearly all adults in the UK own a mobile device, with around 50% of those being smartphones and, that the hectic schedules of people mean they no longer have the time to sit at a computer and carry out their shopping from a desktop, many users are now opting to carry out their retail therapy either while on the go or from the comfort of their living room sofa by purchasing from an online store through their mobile devices. According to figures produced by the IMRG Capgermini Quarterly Index, within the next three months, mobile devices will account for around 20% of total online sales.

However, this doesn't just mean you should sit back and think 'Great, people will be visiting my store on their phones and making more purchases.' While this is true for some stores, if you don't have a user friendly mobile store, you will struggle to even get a small fraction of this projected 20%. When a customer tries to make a purchase on their phone, they are usually on the move and using a much smaller screen than in comparison to say a computer screen. If your store displays on a mobile just like it would on a desktop computer, it is going to be difficult for customers to navigate around your site, having to constantly zoom in and scroll around the page to find what they are looking for. This added time and effort makes the whole process much more difficult, most likely resulting in the user growing frustrated and leaving your store to go elsewhere. 

When looking to capitalise on this growing sales platform, it is paramount that you have your online store set up to be mobile friendly. This means that when a user visits your store on their mobile device, they will view a different layout than they would see on a desktop computer. There will be less pages to navigate through, buttons will be bigger and easier to click as well as the whole checkout process being much shorter. The quicker you can have a user go through the process and purchase from the store, the happier the customer is going to be and the more sales you are going to be able to make over a shorter period of time. 

Still need more convincing about the importance of mobile commerce?

This argument is bolstered by the development of mobile phone apps such as eBay's RedLaser app that allows you to find products within a bricks and mortar store and then search online to see if you can find them cheaper. If one your store is one of the stores a user comes across in these search results and it isn't easier for them to navigate around, like I said earlier, they are just going to leave your store and go elsewhere. In addition to the earlier statistics produced by eBay, the online marketplace stated that they have had over 100 million downloads of their mobile application as well as over 100 million products listed on various eBay stores via mobile devices. To put that into some sort of perspective, $275 is spent on average each second through eBay mobile. While this is across all eBay stores, a small fraction of this could make the difference whether your store is a success or failure. 

If you are looking to expand your ecommerce store or haven't fully explored the benefits mobile commerce can bring to your business, I strongly advise you taking a look at our free ecommerce store that allows you to set up an ecommerce store integrated with eBay that also provides you with a Facebook and mobile store all without you having to pay any costs whatsoever. Once you create your free account with eSellution you will be able to set your layout, add your products and literally begin selling in minutes. With under three months to go until Christmas, you can't afford to miss out on the significant amount of sales that the festive period brings because you have an online store that is not efficient for mobile devices. 

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