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If you’re not already thinking about mobile ecommerce it’s not too late, but you could be seriously missing out on thousands of dollars of revenue.

Mobile ecommerce is the description given to people who use their mobile device like a smartphone or tablet to research and buy online. A good mobile ecommerce experience will be critical to the success of selling online in the months and years to come.

Why is mobile ecommerce important?

How customers shop and purchase online is changing dramatically. Our smartphones and tablets go with us almost everywhere. People now shop on their tablets while watching TV or browse while at the cafe drinking a coffee.

Mobile ecommerce is growing at a huge rate. Goldman Sachs says that by 2018, mobile ecommerce will be worth $626 billion, which is as big as ecommerce last year. Mobile ecommerce has tripled from 2012 to 2014 which a lot of this growth coming from people shopping using tablets.

Businesses are waking up to how important mobile ecommerce is and the need to have a good mobile site. Walmart already receives more than 50% of visits to their website from people using mobile devices.

The challenge with mobile ecommerce

75% of consumers feel annoyance and 69% frustration with a business if it has a poorly performing mobile website.

Your customers have high expectations when shopping via their mobile device which you cannot afford to ignore. The challenge is how to exceed this expectation and to maximise the business opportunity that mobile ecommerce presents.

How to be mobile ecommerce ready?

Now is a great time to make sure that you are mobile ecommerce ready and that you’re providing your customers with a fantastic mobile shopping experience.

The most effective way for small businesses to ensure that their site and cart is mobile friendly is to use a website theme and shopping cart or ecommerce solution that uses responsive design.

Responsive design is optimized to ensure that all the features will effectively on the various different devices and screen sizes. It intelligently adjusts its layout and features based on how it’s being viewed. This eliminates the need for a separate mobile or tablet site.

Go to the website of your ecommerce or payment solution provider to check if it is optimized for mobile ecommerce. Like Selz the top ecommerce solutions will have built-in mobile commerce shopping cart features so your customers can browse and buy from your store using their mobile phone.

Mobile ecommerce checklist

1. It’s optimized for small screens and tablets

First ensure your ecommerce platform and any website themes are mobile optimized so your customers can easily view and navigate around your site and products. You want your products to look fantastic no matter what device your customers are on.

84% of m-commerce users failed to complete their purchases when the desired product information failed to properly load.

2. Make your site easy to navigate

A clear layout is vital as customers need to be able to easily navigate around your site without zooming in or out on their smaller screen. Your mobile ecommerce site needs to include the same features and product details as your website.

3. It is iOS and Android Compatible

These are the two most popular platforms and are the ones your customer’s are most likely to be using.

4. Keep calls to action front and center

If they can’t easily find your “buy now” button, “add to cart” or “checkout” button they will go elsewhere. These are the most important buttons on your site. Don’t make the customer search for them, they should be big, bold and prominent on your page.

5. Simple and easy checkout experience

Your secure checkout needs to be quick and easy to use. This is because the checkout abandonment rates are amplified on mobile devices.

83% of mobile users say that they will not use a mobile ecommerce site or app if they have trouble completing the transaction.

You can see this by how the conversion rates vary by device.

Desktop = 3.11%
Tablet = 2.59%
Smartphone = 1.01%

Smartphones appear to be used more for browsing and research while purchases are made on desktop computers or tablets.

52% of tablet users say that they prefer to shop on their tablet rather than their PC.
72% of tablet owners make purchases from their device on a weekly basis.

Customers get easily frustrated when buying online via a mobile device if the checkout process takes too long or they are asked to painstakingly type in lots of details into forms unnecessarily. For example, don’t ask them for address details if they are purchasing an eBook or some other digital product that isn’t delivered but is downloaded.

Let users purchase without having to register. Don’t force potential customers to create an account before you allow them to buy. If you do want them to register, encourage the registration after the purchase is complete and offer a tangible benefit.

The good news is that if your website and ecommerce platform use responsive design there’s no work for you to do. There is no need to panic if they don’t use responsive design, you’ve still got time to get mobile ecommerce ready. But don’t delay, put it at the top of your list. Mobile ecommerce is taking off and you don’t want to miss out.

Featured Image: iPad 2 w/ Smart Cover by Leon Lee, CC licence

About the author

Geoff Austin

Geoff Austin

I talk and write a lot. Some of it about eCommerce, selling online, startups, SEO, digital marketing. Chauffeur to twin daughters and a pizza chef master.

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