What is fast becoming known as m-retailing will likely become the next BIG power play for many online retailers and businesses who sell goods and services on the Internet.
With the seemingly never ending upward curve of smartphone and tablet usage across the globe, the ability to sell effectively and efficiently on the mobile platform could (and, probably will) determine the next generation of e-commerce winners and losers.
The winners will ensure that there are as few barriers as possible between customers and the final purchase. For those companies still struggling with the concepts of ‘frictionless e-commerce‘ the future might not look so rosy!
If we look at the graphic below we can see the on-going up-lift in the numbers of website visitors who are using a tablet or smartphone to access a website instead of a traditional (laptop, PC) device.
This trend through 2014 is without doubt continuing apace. These visitors are your potential customers, so the NEED to create NOW a secure, speedy and usable m-retailing experience is in my opinion at tipping point:
We are at the forefront of a major shift in e-commerce. However, lets say we are still at m-retailing 1.0. Conversion rates for web sales through the mobile platform are still lagging behind those achieved through traditional devices. In 2014, this is understandable.
However by 2020 if your mobile e-commerce conversion percentages are not where they should be: then – will you still be in business and selling profitably online? Its a serious question, and one not be scoffed at or taken lightly by those businesses currently raking in the profits from web sales taken on a traditional device.
The BIG m-retailing winners over the next 3-5 years will also seek to seamlessly integrate their mobile brand delivery with their in-store retail design, presentation, payment and buying experience.
Now is also most definitely the time when smaller and medium sized organisations should be looking to gain a first mover advantage over competitors by streamlining and developing their mobile shopping experience.
NOW is the time to take a long hard look at your mobile retailing presentation, website usability and architecture, and customer journey. By maximising your mobile e-commerce conversion rate NOW, you will be taking the steps necessary to deliver greater Internet sales and profitability in the not too distant future!!
Paul Brewster. September 2014