In today’s mobile market, smartphones are becoming ever more prominent, partly at the expense of tablets.

With worldwide shipments growing to 335m this Q1, smartphones also now deliver the majority of mobile transactions (above tablets) in every major market.

In comparison, shipments of tablets have dropped 15% year-on-year.

This is just one piece of evidence, taken from Criteo’s State of Mobile Commerce report, that proves the smaller device is more important than ever.

If you need more convincing, here’s three more reasons why it should be top of the agenda for retailers.

Mobile transactions equal desktop

Mobile (includes tablet) now accounts for half of all the online transactions made in the UK, increasing 11% from the same period last year. 

Criteo’s research also shows that out of the top ranking retailers, the share of mobile transactions has grown even further, tipping the scales at 61%.

For the first time ever, this means that the UK and Japan are selling more on mobile than on desktop.

So, although we’ve suspected it for a while, the news that consumers are turning to smartphones over any other device is a warning sign for retailers.

If a mobile strategy is missing or neglected, the risk of falling behind the competition is mammoth. 

Consumer expectations of websites are rising

Countries that have the highest number of mobile-friendly sites – the likes of Japan, South Korea and the UK – also see the biggest share of mobile transactions. 

 

It’s important to remember the many factors that make for a (fantastically) mobile-friendly website. 

From site navigation to easy checkout and personalisation – consumers expect a seamless, unified, and relevant experience across all channels.

Essentially, the ‘friendlier’ the experience, the higher the chances of conversion.

Here are a few recommendations from the Criteo report:

Aid discovery

  • There are many ways to aid discovery on mobile. For example, ensuring the most popular products are visible on the homepage and allowing users to search within categories.
  • Carousels should not cycle too quickly or provide the only route to a landing page.

Simplify browsing

  • By introducing an image zoom function and making shopping carts easy to save, consumers are more likely to return after an initial visit.
  • Features like instant loading and offline content can also create a much richer experience.

Optimize the checkout

  • Having a guest checkout option is vital and can even be prioritised over existing accounts or registration.
  • Appropriate keyboard input types should be use, and spell check disabled for text fields.
  • In-store pickup information should be displayed prominetly alongside shipping information.

Mobile apps drive spending

When it comes to mobile browser versus app – apps have taken more transactions this year.

 

Not only do apps deliver up to 54% of all mobile transactions, but they also have two times the customer retention power. 

So, apps perform better than web at every stage of the mobile consumer funnel.

Whether mobile web or app, a great experience is no longer just a bonus for consumers – they are expected. As a result, implementing a mobile-friendly experience is key for retailers that want to stay ahead of the pack.

With opportunities for growth across all retail industries, it looks like a case of go big on mobile, or go home.

For more on this topic, check out our Taking Advantage of the Mobile Opportunity report, or learn more with our Mobile Usability training course.