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Businesses will tell you that consumers today can make purchasing decisions at any point, whether that’s while browsing on mobile devices, desktop websites or in bricks and mortar stores. Providing this seamless cross-channel shopping experience is becoming the top priority for businesses looking to gain a competitive edge, with the customer expectation of an “omni-channel” approach shaping the way businesses are looking to trade in 2019.
This theory has been confirmed in a recent survey which found that well over half (67%) of all retailers said delivering an omni-channel approach is their top priority for this year. However, when looking to implement a successful omni-channel sales operation, where should businesses be focussing? The answer is on mobile.
With the high street struggles over the festive period emphasised by several prominent retailers having already announced cutbacks or collapsed into administration this year, it can be agreed that there is a significant shift in the retail landscape right now and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. In last month’s feature article, we analysed the significant growth of online sales in the last year (which you can read here if you haven’t already), however a number of studies this month have shown how the increasing favourability of mobile eCommerce has played a huge part in this recent sales boom.
According to research conducted by PayPal, 42% of people are now buying via their mobile phone at least once a week. The average value of these transactions has also increased in the last few years, with UK consumers now willing to spend more than £100, up from £80 in 2017. 22% of consumers also said they now prefer the convenience of shopping on their smartphones or tablets rather than the high street, a figure which has jumped up since 2016. 30% of consumers also said they expected to shop on their mobile more often in the next year. This latter statistic is reinforced by findings this month from Contentsquare, who found that mobile eCommerce will account for over half (54%) of all online sales in 2019.
So, the fact is consumers are increasingly turning to mobile to make their purchases and are willing to spend a significant amount on an average order in the process. This shows the opportunity is there for businesses to increase their sales through a renewed focus on their mobile sales strategy. However, do businesses currently have the capacity to make the most of the growing mobile sales trend? The answer it would seem, is no.
In the same Contentsquare study, it was found that conversion rates for mobile visitors were at an extraordinarily low 2%, with the biggest issue not just getting customers to the checkout but also getting those who do reach the checkout to complete their purchase. Contentsquare found that more than 80% of visitors that come from a mobile email and land on the homepage will exit immediately, with more than 80% of those mobile users who do reach the cart not completing their purchase.
So, what is the cause of this low conversion rate? Well it seems that the main driving force is the fact that many eCommerce websites are simply still not optimised for mobile shopping.
To put this theory into context, in the research conducted by PayPal, it was found that only 17% of businesses offer websites that are designed for small portable screens – no improvement from 2018.
In addition to a lack of mobile optimisation, it also seems that a non-targeted approach to email communications is also causing mobile visitors to not commit to their purchases. Although Contentsquare found that over 80% of people would exit immediately after landing on a homepage, they also found that those who land on a product page are far more likely to continue browsing, with only 8% exiting. This shows the importance of ensuring customers and potential customers are directed towards products to which they have shown previous interest.
If you consider all the findings from these two studies, it is evident that consumers are willing to spend more on their smartphones, however the quality of their experience often causes them to exit the process. This means that where businesses should be boosting their online revenue with additional sales, they are dealing with more abandoned baskets and lost potential due to their web shops simply not being optimised for mobile. This is only made worse by businesses sending potential leads to generic home pages rather than using the data they already hold to ensure customers are directed to products relevant to them from marketing communications.
So to conclude, it is clear that businesses must ensure they have a responsive web design in order to drive their online sales growth in 2019, or they will risk losing out on a substantial amount of potential revenue. That said, when considering an omni-channel sales strategy, businesses should also consider how they can better interact with customers across multiple sales channels, utilising existing sales and abandoned basket data to better target customers with the right message. By achieving this and ensuring all mobile orders are also quickly and accurately fulfilled, businesses can expect to have a prosperous 12 months through boosting their mobile sales.
If you would like to find out more about how OrderWise can provide you with an eCommerce website that is optimised for both desktop and mobile, as well as seamlessly integrated to a comprehensive back-end order management system, please contact us on 01522 704083 to speak to one of our business consultants today.
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