Everywhere you go you see people with phone in hand – checking email, updating Facebook, and reading tweets. What you may not realize is that they are also shopping. In 2015 consumers spent $105 billion on products purchased online with their mobile devices (Smartphones and tablets), which is up almost 40% from $75 billion in 2014. According to research from Internet Retailer’s 2016 Mobile 500, that means mobile ecommerce account for 30% of all ecommerce sales in the U.S.
With mobile ecommerce (also called m-commerce) making up nearly one-third of internet sales, ensuring that your ecommerce website is mobile-friendly is one of the most important things you can do for your business right now. If that statistic doesn’t convince you, here are some additional reasons your website needs to go mobile:
The Number of Mobile Users is Growing
The biggest reason to go mobile with your ecommerce website is that more and more people now own mobile devices which they use to connect to the internet. Results from a survey performed by the Pew Research Center show that in 2011, only 35% of Americans owned a smartphone. As of the end of 2015, that number increased to 68%. Likewise, the number of tablet owners has increased from 3% in 2010, to 45% in 2015. The sheer number of mobile device users (better than 220 million, if you do the math) is reason enough to make sure that your website is optimized for mobile ecommerce
Mobile Sales Are Expected to Continue Increasing
The upswing in sales using mobile devices doesn’t show signs of leveling off anytime soon. According to a BI Intelligence report, by 2020 mobile commerce will make up 45% of total ecommerce, which equates to about $284 billion in sales. If you’re not reaching mobile users, you’re losing out on a major portion of potential sales.
Websites That Are Mobile-Friendly Rank Higher on Google Searches
In April 2015, a Google algorithm change modified the way mobile search results are displayed. Google now prioritizes websites that are optimized for mobile over those that aren’t. This is definitely something to consider when taking the steps to make your site mobile ecommerce-ready.
Websites That Are Not Mobile-Friendly Drive Away Customers
When you consider the current and continually increasing number of mobile users, another reason to have a mobile-friendly ecommerce website is the simple fact that a mobile-unfriendly site has the potential to run off potential customers. Even as long ago as 2012, a Google study showed that if your ecommerce site provides mobile consumers with a favorable experience, they are more likely to actually make a purchase. Two-thirds of mobile users said that when they visit a site that is mobile-friendly, they are more likely to make a purchase and 74% said they are more likely to return to the site in the future. Additionally, 61% said that when they encountered a mobile-unfriendly site, they were more likely to leave the site and look for another one to make their purchase.
The study also found that if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, it can actually damage your company’s reputation. Research found that a frustrating mobile ecommerce experience on a website hurts the customers’ opinions of the brand overall. Nearly half of the users asked said that if a website isn’t mobile-friendly it made them feel like the company didn’t care about their business. But there’s good news. A positive mobile experience improves brand perception for 61% of those asked.
Going Mobile Can Help Traditional Retail Sales
Many retailers now utilize multiple sales channels like Sears and Rakuten to reach more customers and maximize sales. If one of your sales channels is brick-and-mortar, you will still benefit from having a mobile-friendly presence. For example, a study done by Latitude found that 88% of respondents agreed that having a Smartphone or other mobile device that could provide them with real-time information made them more spontaneous when shopping traditionally. Also, while about 60% of tablet users and 53% of Smartphone users reported that they make purchases based on their mobile internet activity, more than half of them were found to be making their purchases offline or in-store. So even if customers prefer to shop traditionally, they still often base their purchases on information they find on mobile-friendly sites.
Mobile Ecommerce Makes Your Business Modern and Relevant
No matter how useful and unique your products are, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, your company will be seen as old and outdated, which will lead customers to look for other places to buy. Conversely, if you have a mobile-friendly website, it projects an image of being contemporary, innovative, and important, and that will get your foot in the door with mobile device users. Remember, they account for 30% of ecommerce sales, and that number is increasing.
Times are changing, and so are customers’ attitudes about shopping. Growing with them is essential to the success of your business. In addition to providing quality products in your inventory, excellent customer service, and competitive pricing, creating a mobile-friendly experience for your customers will help you do just that.