2014 is the year of mobile. Whether you embrace it with open arms or hide underneath a rock, mobile is massive and will soon take over search and ecommerce.
The mobile landscape
There has never been a more critical or auspicious time to develop a strong mobile strategy for your ecommerce or business. As users have now become more engaged on their handhelds than any other device, making mobile a prime foundation will help you to amplify your message.
Surprisingly, even though we are in the year of mobile, not everyone has adopted a mobile-friendly design. Recent research from the Internet Advertising Bureau has shown that almost half (46%) of the top 50 FMCG brands, do not yet have a mobile friendly site. Maybe you don't have to feel so bad that you haven't gone mobile just yet!
Why is responsive ecommerce important?
As responsive mobile-friendly design takes over static desktop and mobile websites, an increasing number of consumers are making the move to mobile. In fact, according to a recent Google study on the mobile purchase journey, 61% of smartphone users use their device to research or purchase products. That's a massive percentage of your target audience purchasing from their mobile or tablet.
As part of that same study into the mobile purchase journey, Google.com surveyed consumers from over 38 different countries to identify the circumstances in which they make a purchase using their mobile phone.
Results showed that in the UK, a staggering 85%* of users made a purchase using their smartphone. Equating to a large chunk of the ecommerce pie, this figure is often underestimated by retailers of all sizes.
Follow the journey yourself and and identify mobile participation for your market sector.
*average % of smartphone users making a purchase in the retail, tech, entertainment or travel sector.
Building a responsive mobile solution
An unspoken and often untapped advantage of mobile is its preference toward ecommerce. As users are generally more engaged with ecommerce on mobile devices, they now take them wherever they go. Reaching these users whilst they are in-store or on the go enables you to captivate their interests; potentially at the peak of interests. SOLD!
As a keen mobile user I often find myself using my smartphone whilst having a coffee or in-store. In fact I have even searched online for alternative sizes if the store doesn't have them in stock. It is this interaction that you want to catch at the peak moment as it could result in an online sale when the store couldn't fulfil the users need.
In these situations I cannot stress how important it is to have a robust back office system in place. Helping you to manage orders, inventory, stock and fulfilment from one central location, a back office ERP (enterprise resource planning) system will streamline manual processes and ensure that customers aren't disappointed. Yippee!
5 Reason to go responsive
1. Improve traffic - According to Mobile Insights data, 60% of people in the UK are smartphone users. That's an incredible amount of potential visitors to your site - provided they can access and view your site with ease.
2. Improve customer engagement - In designing a solution that responds to the user's device you can tailor your website to their individual needs. There is no need to have two separate solutions for mobile and desktop users, with a responsive your create 1 site that adapts to the screen size and device requirements.
3. Boost sales - Connect with third party APIs to extend your ecommerce. Provide users with a map indicating their closest store, stock availability and much more.
4. Improve visibility - With a responsive solution you only have one URL and so ranking for your chosen keywords will be easier.
5. Get ahead - If you are a smaller retailer or local business, but the first in your area to release a responsive solution. Set the standard and watch the sales flood in.