Smartphone conversion rates are typically lower than on desktop and tablet due to a number of factors, not least screen size and a perceived lack of functionality.
However as with all areas of ecommerce there are steps that site owners can take to improve the user experience and increase conversions from mobile devices.
For an in-depth look at the intricacies of m-commerce download our Mobile Commerce Compendium, but to get you started here are 12 ways to boost mobile conversions...
Mobile commerce sales have doubled in the space of a year and now account for almost a quarter of total online sales, according to a new report.
It again highlights the growing importance of m-commerce at a time when many retailers are still struggling to develop effective, user-friendly mobile sites and apps.
The new data from IMRG and Capgemini shows that sales completed through mobile devices accounted for 23.2% of total ecommerce sales in Q2 2013, up from 11.6% in the same period last year.
A separate survey included in the Econsultancy Mobile Commerce Compendium found that half of smartphone owners (51%) hadn’t made a purchase using their smartphone in the previous six months, which shows that there is still huge potential for m-commerce sales to continue rising as a proportion of total online sales.
More than half of companies (55%) now have mobile optimised websites, according to our new Reducing Customer Struggle Report.
The data also shows that 44% of companies have iPhone apps while a third (33%) have Android apps and a quarter have one for iPad (26%).
The survey of 500 business professionals, published in partnership with IBM Tealeaf, found that just 22% of companies still don’t have any kind of mobile presence.
When asked how they optimise the mobile experience, just under half (46%) of companies surveyed indicated they use responsive design (client-side), while only a fifth (22%) use adaptive design (server-side).
An effective, user-friendly mobile checkout requires a fine balance, as retailers need to present all the necessary information to encourage a sale without cluttering the pages and making them difficult to navigate.
In my experience the best mobile checkouts tend to be those that have stripped out any unnecessary information and data fields so customers can make a purchase as quickly as possible.
In the early days of m-commerce retailers presented mobile users with a version of their desktop checkout, so fields were too small and CTAs were difficult to click.
Times have thankfully changed, but I thought it would be interesting to see how the top US retailers have designed their mobile checkouts to see how user-friendly they are.
Here’s a quick recap of the criteria I evaluated using my Android smartphone...
Smartphones and tablets now account for almost a quarter of traffic for affiliate marketing campaigns, a massive six-fold increase in less than two years.
A new report from Affiliate Window shows that 22% of traffic and 18% of sales come through mobile and tablet devices, figures which respectively stood at just 3.5% and 5% back in November 2011.
The data comes from millions of sales and clicks recorded every month from more than 1,400 retailers’ and advertisers’ affiliate marketing campaigns.
Smartphones alone account for 13.6% of total traffic, which shows the importance of tablets for ecommerce as the devices drive a similar level of visits to smartphones despite a much lower penetration rate.
Back in the early days of mobile commerce there was frequent debate over whether businesses should opt for a mobile site or a mobile app.
Fortunately most businesses and marketers now realise that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach and that the two platforms aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.
However we do occasionally still see businesses launching apps without properly considering the functionality that will be most appealing and useful to their customers.
Data from our new Mobile Commerce Compendium shows that, more than anything else, consumers want to be rewarded with exclusive offers if they download a retail app, with 38% of respondents selecting this as an important feature for smartphone apps.
Mobile is no longer a trend or even just an opportunity. It is quickly becoming the new standard for consuming content.
Over the years there has been a continued, symbiotic evolution of mobile technology and consumer expectations, especially in the retail industry where companies have firmly embraced the 'commerce everywhere' dimension brought by mobile devices.
As digital mobile capabilities multiply, it’s interesting to consider just what consumers really want from their mobile experience.
Email and search are the most popular smartphone activities behind making phone calls, according to data included in our new Mobile Commerce Compendium.
When asked which tasks they had carried out in the past week, three-quarters of smartphone owners (74%) said email while just over two-thirds (67%) said search.
This again highlights the importance of mobile search, which is predicted to overtake desktop search next year, and shows that brands can no longer afford to ignore the opportunity it presents.
We’ve seen a number of research projects and studies which show that mobile traffic and search volumes are likely to overtake desktop in the next 12 months, however the same can’t be said for sales and conversions through mobile devices.
Instead consumers are increasingly using smartphones for research and price checking, before ultimately making a purchase on desktop or tablet.
We investigated the reasons behind this disparity as part of our new Mobile Commerce Compendium, with the data showing that two-thirds (64%) of smartphone owners who don’t use mobile commerce simply prefer shopping online using a desktop or tablet.
The second most-common reason proved to be difficulties with the small screen size (41%), while 39% said they are concerned about security on their phone.
More than half (57%) of smartphone owners have used their device to search for information while out shopping, according to data from our new Mobile Commerce Compendium.
The most common smartphone activity was comparing prices (63%) with other retailers, followed by looking for a discount voucher online (42%) and looking for product information or other options on a different retailer’s website (34%).
This raises a difficult dilemma for retailers, as the natural urge is to try and prevent customers from shopping at their competitors using the mobile web but in reality it’s impossible to prevent people from doing it.