May 17, 2012

Mobile e-Commerce: Online Retailers Take Notice

by: in Mobile

You can’t go anywhere these days without seeing someone buried face first in his or her phone. They’ve become an extension of our brain; a constant secondary source of information for us at all times. They’ve become an extension of our social lives, and in may cases have become our social lives. We now, literally, have the world at our fingertips in terms of what we can accomplish via mobile devices. But, lets take minute to quantify the “we” in the previous sentence.

According to a study done by www.GetElastic.com, there are 1.2 billion mobile web users in the global population. In other terms, 17 percent of the world has the ability to surf the web from pretty much anywhere at pretty much anytime. The ever-so-awesome smartphone has done it’s best to ensure that we have basically the same capabilities with phones as we do with a regular computer, and users have been smart enough to figure this out.

The same study let us in on the fact that 77%, of the 1.2 billion referred to above, use their phones for web searches, and that 90% of the searches result in an action being taken. This doesn’t mean that 9 out of 10 searches result in a purchase, but they may result in a store visit, contact request, content download, etc.

From a business perspective, this is not a market that you want to miss out on (especially if you’re an online retailer) and I’d bet some company executives are breathing a sigh of relief, knowing that they have a presence on the internet. However, merely maintaining a website and minimal digital advertising efforts will not ensure that you’re online sales will flourish. If we couple this information with the statistic that 51% of mobile web users are more likely to make a purchase on a site that has been optimized for mobile devices, and the fact that 79% of online retailers still don’t have a mobile optimized site, we begin to see what these companies are missing out on.

The implications are clear. There is a huge market of people that are using their mobile devices similarly to the way that they use laptop and desktop computers. These users are shopping and prefer buying from a business that knows how they navigate, and that maintain online properties optimized for mobile devices and mobile e-commerce. We have a booming new medium in which we can advertise, and capture sales. Users are viewing the Internet in a new way and they respond to sites, advertising, and applications customized to the way they surf the web. If you don’t have a mobile site in the plans, then it’s definitely something worth considering.