Mobile eCommerce slated for growth

Industry Insight

If there is any doubt regarding the importance of mobile eCommerce, a new report from Custora illustrates why smartphones and tablets must become standard considerations of online sellers. According to the forecast, mobile eCommerce sales are projected to crest $50 billion before the end of 2014 – that’s an $8 billion year-over-year growth compared to 2013.

Smartphones have been the mobile shopping platform of choice for the last few years and continue to be the preferred mobile sales avenue of many shoppers. Custora found that nearly one-quarter of all digital shoppers peruse eCommerce websites from their phones. Tablets account for a smaller number of site views, accounting for 12 percent of total online store views. However, merchants can’t afford to disregard these devices – the number of people using tablets to browse online stores have doubled over the last two years. At this rate, the mechanisms could rival smartphones within the next few years.

Mobile: It’s more than a buying platform

Although it’s easy to lump smartphones and tablets together under mobile eCommerce, customers actually use their mobile devices for another purpose entirely. While that’s true to a certain extent – people can use mobile devices simply to make purchases as if they were on their desktop computers – individuals are also using them for different purposes. Retailers must consider these different uses to make the most of their mobile eCommerce efforts.

For example, even though more people view eCommerce websites from their smartphones, the number of shoppers that actually make purchases through these devices is considerably lower than tablets. This suggests prospects use their smartphones more as shopping companions, leveraging them in-store to compare prices, read reviews and find coupons. Conversely, tablets are more akin to desktop computers in the eyes of consumers – they use them from their homes, which is why conversion rates are higher.

Mobile eCommerce as another sales channel

Regardless of how retailers incorporate mobile eCommerce into their protocols, it’s crucial they do. With customers poised to spend more money through these devices than ever before, failing to offer mobile shopping channels may result in lost opportunities to pickup a few extra sales. Mobile eCommerce should be on the list of priorities for most retailers.

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