As of 2014, 23% of the world’s population owns and uses smartphones according to Business Insider’s John Heggestuen. These mobile devices are causing tremendous growth for e-commerce as well. According to a report from Business Insider, between Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Thanksgiving of 2013, the total amount of e-commerce grew an estimated 24%. From this, 63% of the growth was from the mobile cloud, which is growing twice as fast as desktop machines, accounting for almost $940 million in sales.
Services like ShopVisible are seeing similar growth. ShopVisible released a report for 2013 that found that 30% of their client’s website traffic came from devices other than desktops and laptops. The report also stated that they saw a 20% increase in mobile traffic for the 2013 holiday season.
Mobile e-commerce is growing quickly. However, this may leave some businesses wondering if people are merely browsing on phones or making purchases. According to an infographic produced for iacquire.com, “70% of mobile searches led to action on websites within one hour”.
These numbers mean it’s more than just casual browsers – smartphone users are using their devices to make purchases and spend money from anywhere. Unfortunately, many e-commerce sites are still not optimized for mobile cloud and aren’t ready for growth.
E-commerce for mobile is rapidly growing, but many sites are not prepared. According to ShopVisible, "Although it's been a popular topic in e-commerce (and retail in general) for several years, many retailers have still been reluctant to invest in mobile-optimized versions of their sites. As smartphones continue to become more popular, sites must be equipped with a mobile version specifically made for the smaller screen."
In order to be successful with this type of growth, e-commerce sites must be prepared for screens of all sizes. Using a responsive design, websites can support the largest monitors to the smallest smartphones and have their pages automatically scale to fit.
It’s clear that mobile e-commerce is growing. By using a responsive website design, you will allow mobile users to access your site from anywhere. However, your website must also be able to handle the additional growth.
Having a fast site will lower abandonment rates. “A recent survey of more than 2,500 online consumers in the US and UK found that two thirds (67%) of UK shoppers and more than half (51%) of those in the US said that site slowness is the top reason they’d abandon a purchase.”
You also need a data center that is ready to scale to meet the potential demand of your e-commerce site. As more people shop using mobile devices, the number of transactions will continue to grow and you need to make sure your e-commerce site can handle that growth.
Mobile e-commerce is growing. Having a responsive site that is ready for small screens is imperative for your success. You also need to know your site and data center can scale to meet the needs of future growth to keep your cart abandonment rates low and your profits high.
Ernie Sampera is the Chief Marketing Officer at vXchnge. Ernie is responsible for product marketing, external & corporate communications and business development. Ernie brings over 26 years of marketing, sales, channel distribution, program management, strategic alliances, and business development experience to the company. Prior to joining vXchnge, Ernie was Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer at Switch & Data. Ernie has also held executive marketing and development positions with AT&T IBM, UNISYS, and the American Medical Association.