With only seven days between now and Christmas, the holiday shopping season is coming to an end. As holiday shopping wraps up, it is a great time to reflect and look at the trends in 2014 holiday eCommerce retail – and the important role mobile devices have played and continue to play this holiday season.
A recent report from FierceRetail indicates, mCommerce, or Mobile transactions, have shown to account for an important percentage of eCommerce shopping this holiday season. With this channel accounting for $361 million in spending on Thanksgiving alone, and an astounding 22% of the total $2.68 billion spent by consumers on Cyber Monday, it has chizzled out a decent slice of the eCommerce pie with 26% of the total digital commerce.
As mobile sales have increased 55% year-over-year and now account for more than 22% of total online sales during the Thanksgiving weekend, mCommerce seems to be taking the online retail world by storm. According to a recent survey by Google, 4 in 5 smartphone or tablet users will use mobile devices to facilitate their holiday shopping in 2014. Researchers also highlight a recent Harris Poll which indicates just over one-third of shoppers prefer mobile shopping to in-store shopping.
Projected Growth of mCommerce Globally
This comes at almost no surprise, as over 2 billion consumers across the globe are projected to own a smartphone by 2016. With researchers projecting the mobile-enabled commerce to continue through into 2015, eMarketer.com suggests that by 2019, there will be almost 200 billion mCommerce transactions a year. These forecasted sales would be an increase of 270%, up from 72 billion this year.
As indicated in the chart by eMarketer below, the number of smartphone users worldwide is projected to grow exponentially between 2013-2018, showing extreme growth in international markets like China, India and Japan.
Reasons for Growth of mCommerce
With the growing number of smartphone users, it only makes sense that the number of consumers who make purchases from their mobile devices increases as well. As mCommerce becomes a growing component of the modern-day shopping experience, retailers are jumping at the opportunity to target consumers in a new way.
Inexpensive smartphones are creating new opportunities for marketing and commerce in emerging markets, as consumers with previously no access to the internet, have now become active contributors to the GDP. Furthermore, as smartphones continue to be readily available, they are quickly shifting the paradigm for consumer media usage in mature and established markets.
What does this mean for Retailers?
There is no denying that as shoppers become increasingly more connected and reliant on their mobile devices, the trend towards mCommerce will only continue to grow. Retailers need to recognize the changing dynamics between consumers and their mobile devices. Understanding specific consumer patterns and current mobile shopping trends will help retailers conduct smarter business and shape marketing strategies in 2015.
By providing solutions that traditional retail channels can’t deliver, retailers who offer mCommerce can now monetise customers who would have otherwise been excluded. Retailers who make mCommerce a top priority in 2015 have a clear business advantage – in turn, those failing to provide a mobile-friendly shopping experience will be put at a disadvantage. Given the multiscreen world we live in today, consumers are looking for an ease of shopping experience and are looking to multitask.
Tips for mCommerce Retailers
There are a few things retailers can do in order to capitalize on this growing trend. Below are three tips to increase conversions and turn mobile browsers into buyers this holiday season, and for the coming year.
1. Streamline the checkout process
You can convert more browsers into buyers by reducing the number of steps required to check out. By offering easy-click checkout options, you can reduce a customer’s time spent entering personal information, in turn, reducing the amount of frustration felt by consumers navigating a lengthy checkout process. High growth rates are expected in the NFC sector, with services such as Apple Pay, Google Checkout and Paypal, you can accelerate sales by offering alternative payment methods. Solutions, such as Paypal, which stores both consumers payment information as well as their address, can significantly speed up the payment process, making the checkout and payment process as smooth as possible.
2. Improve your search functionality
Help consumers find what they are looking for. Research indicates that if a consumer cannot find what they are looking for within 8 seconds of landing on a site – they will leave. Optimize a mobile shopper’s experience by optimizing site search on your mobile site, allowing for active responsiveness and filtered suggestions.
3. Improve marketing interactions
Targeting is critical with mobile commerce as it helps to identify your target demographics and user behaviour trends. Now, with tools such as geo targeting, location-based services, coupons and mobile emails, you can increase a consumers draw to your website.
In sum, with the growth of mCommerce globally, we will see an increased desire for a more responsive, convenient and personalized shopping experience. In the future, don’t be surprised to see consumers loading their coupons, scanning barcodes, scouring for deals and making purchases – all from a simple touch of their fingertips.