More than 2/3 of Americans now have smartphones and they’re using them to buy online – and not just a little bit.
Traffic from mobile devices was off the charts this past holiday season with big chain retailers reporting record numbers.
During the 2014 holiday season:
- 70% of Walmart’s traffic came from mobile devices
- More than 60% of Target’s traffic came from mobile devices
- Best Buy attributed Black Friday site outages to a spike in mobile traffic
Now, of course these are some of the largest retailers around but these numbers carry great meaning for anyone in the business of selling online.
Mobile commerce is now officially mainstream
For the last few years, having a mobile-friendly or “responsive” site was an extra advantage. Now, it’s more than a little upgrade or neat perk of your site – being mobile-friendly will be essential for online retailers going forward. Having a mobile-friendly site doesn’t mean you have an app. It simply means that your website will recognize if it’s accessed from a mobile phone or tablet and it will scale to fit the smaller screen and it will work the same way whether someone’s using a mouse or a touch screen.
You’re probably familiar with the term, “showrooming.” It’s when customers come check out items in your store but then go home and buy them online. Well, due to the rise in mobile devices, this trend has actually seen a decline in 2014. According to a consumer study by market research agency, Gfk, showrooming actually declined in 2014 and “webrooming” increased. Webrooming is the new term for buying a product in a store after researching it on a smartphone. Another study revealed that 81% of US mobile owners used their devices to research retail items before going to a store and 19% of US mobile owners used their mobile devices while inside a retail location.
These numbers can tell us a lot and one thing is certain – consumers are using their mobile devices regularly to research products and shop online. So if you sell a better product or offer a better price than your competition, you’re going to want customers to find your products from their mobile browsers or you’re going to lose sales to another site that is mobile friendly. Not only that…
Google is now giving advantages to mobile-friendly sites
Google is rolling out “mobile-friendly” labels on search results so anyone browsing the web on their mobile devices will know which sites will or won’t work well for them. Imagine what that means for online retailers? Before someone even clicks your site, they can see if it will work for them or not. Unless you have a mobile-friendly site, you’re going to lose traffic because of this new label.
Plus, don’t forget the tablets. It’s easy to think of mobile devices like phones. Just about everyone has smartphones these days. But tablets are very common shopping devices as well. People keep them near their couches so they can easily browse the web while watching TV. In fact, according to Nielsen, the famed research group, 84% of consumers use their mobile phones or tablets while watching TV – and 44% of them are shopping, according to this same survey.
Imagine all the products people see when watching TV and not just the ones in commercials. Think of all the products people see in shows while their tablets are right at their fingertips to look them up and buy. This is just one of the many reasons why having a mobile-friendly site has become essential to any online retailer.
2015 is full of new opportunities for your business and one of the greatest ways to capture more traffic and get more sales is to upgrade your site to be mobile-friendly. ioVista has helped hundreds of online retailers optimize their websites and get more sales.
Here are two of the latest mobile-friendly sites we’ve worked on:
Give us a call or send us an email if you’d like to learn more about making your online store mobile-friendly.