Give sales a boost with online payments

First Data Merchant Solutions LogoGuest Post: First Data Merchant Solutions

 

Nowadays it’s so simple and affordable to create a website that no business should be without one. The same is true of accepting online payments. You can accept card payments through your website quickly and easily without the need to invest in expensive software or IT development.

Raj Sond, General Manager, First Data Merchant Solutions, which provides special rates for card services to ShopIntegrator members, explains how online payments can help drive business.

Accepting payments online could dramatically increase sales and help you capture a share of the expanding online market in the UK and overseas“, said Raj.

Business and technology consultancy Capgemini is predicting that online retail sales in the UK will increase by approximately 12% this year to £87 billion.[1] And according to a report by professional services firm PwC[2], 80% of global respondents researched a product online before they bought it, with the convenience of shopping anytime, anywhere the top reason given for shopping online.

Raj continued: “There is a range of eCommerce solutions available, whether you are a start-up or an established business. These provide user-friendly and secure web pages to process card payments and security features to help protect you and your customers from fraud. You can also take advantage of accounting features and can automate deferred and recurring payments.

“We offer a range of online card processing solutions that are simple to set up and use. For example, Connect is our fastest and simplest route to online card acceptance. This directs customers to our secure payment page when they are ready to complete their purchase. They simply enter their card details on the ready-made form, which can be branded with your logo. The customer is then returned to your web page when the purchase is complete.”

“A range of shopping cart plug-ins are available for Connect. These allow your customers to select items from your online store and, upon checkout, the software calculates the total including delivery charges and taxes.”

For advice and information on the range of eCommerce tools available, please visit First Data Merchant Solutions.

 

First Data Europe Limited is authorised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Service Regulations 2009 for the provision of payment services (FCA register No. 582703). 

[1] http://www.uk.capgemini.com/news/87-billion-to-be-spent-online-in-2013_pr2411

[2] http://www.pwc.com/en_us/us/retail-consumer/publications/assets/pwc-us-multichannel-shopping-survey.pdf

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Diversify your online marketing: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

diversify your online marketing

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

It is generally accepted that an integrated approach to marketing, and by integrated I mean both offline and online marketing efforts, works best. However, for many small online businesses and start-ups with modest budgets and resources,  the reality is that digital marketing remains one of the most cost-effective ways of marketing.

Diversify your online marketing efforts

If you are prepared to put in time and effort then online marketing can help you climb up the search engine rankings, drive more traffic, build customer relationships and increase conversions. However, it is essential  that you don’t focus your efforts in just one area, rather diversify your online marketing to cover different activities. For example you may excel in your social media efforts, but if you are using social media in isolation then it just isn’t going to bring in the traffic you need to make your online business successful.

Of course,  it is also about striking the right balance between undertaking a variety of online marketing activities and not spreading yourself so thinly that you are unable complete any activity to a professional standard. I would therefore suggest you focus on some key areas and do them well.

Content should underpin everything you do.

Content should be the constant in all the activity your undertake. Your customers want to see relevant, fresh and valuable content and consequently this is what Search Engines want to see too – up-to-date, relevant and quality content. Good content is absolutely central to whether your digital marketing will be effective.

Key areas to consider:

Website

Your website is so important – so focus your initial efforts on getting it right. You may have a great product or service and traffic may be flowing in however,  if your website isn’t up to scratch then no sooner than a visitor arrives, they’ll leave – without hanging around to see all the great things you may have on offer. You should be looking at your website’s navigation, usability, accessibility, credibility and of course, content. Take a look at our post 7 website essentials for a successful online presence for some helpful tips and advice to making the most out of your website.

Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing involves two areas –  Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC)  advertising (think Google AdWords). Search engine optimisation focuses on improving your website’s position in the search engines natural listings – using on-page optimisation, keyword and keyphrase analysis and link building.  With PPC advertising you pay for an advertisement to appear  at the top and to the right of relevant search engine pages.

It’s best  to take a two-pronged approach – especially when you are starting up.  Don’t forget it takes time for you to climb up the natural search engine listings through SEO so driving traffic through PPC as well is a good idea.

Email

Email has suffered a bit from bad press over recent years however I think is it an excellent and very cost-effective way of keeping in touch  with customers. Email is a great channel  of communication, it’s so quick and flexible you can (and indeed should) use it to communicate all sorts of information. Such as marketing offers and promotions, product and service updates, informative newsletters and customer service correspondence. Focus on building a great database of customers and targeting your emails appropriately to each segment.

Blogging

As we’ve already mentioned, keeping your website up-to-date with fresh and relevant content is essential. Setting up blog on your website is a great way of doing this. Not only are you helping keep  search engines happy, you are also giving something back to your customers (which is great for relationship building) and enticing in new customers looking for information on a particular subject. Try and keep the blog relevant to your target audience and online business.

Social Media  

And of course we can’t finish without the growing phenomenon of social media. Social media – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – are one of the best ways to give your brand personality and build relationships with customers through two-way dialogue. In a 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 89% of marketers said that social media had generated more business exposure with benefits including:

  • Improved sales
  • Increased exposure
  • Grew business partnerships
  • Generated leads
  • Improved search rankings
  • Increased traffic
  • Market place insight

 

It will take both time and effort in all these areas for you to reap the rewards of digital marketing.  However having a diverse and integrated approach goes hand-in-hand with creating fresh and relevant content. Stick with these digital activities and you will see your search engine rankings improve,  traffic to your website  increase and relationships with your customers develop.

 

We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this topic, so do please take a moment and leave a comment.

Easter Basket image courtesy of artur84 /FreeDigitalPhotos.net

10 Clever Ways of Growing Repeat Customers

Anybody who runs their own business will admit that attracting customers to your product/service is hard enough. After fending off each one of your competitors, alternatives to your product or even the customer’s own fickleness to commit to a purchase, an actual sale can leave you feeling like you deserve a sinful, creamy, double chocolate cupcake with a liquid chocolate core. (Mmm!)

If a basket of cupcakes is chocolate nirvana, a customer who returns over and over again and buys at your store would be the embodiment of business nirvana.
Trouble is, such a customer is unbelievably hard to find. We all know the most commonly touted facts about repeat customers:

“Attracting new customers is 5 times more expensive than retaining existing customers.”
~ Lee Resource, Inc.

“80% of your company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customers.”
~ Gartner Group

Before figuring out how to grow repeat customers, it’s important to understand why we need them in the first place.

Repeat customers have a big impact on your profits.

Read that aloud. According to a study by Harvard Business School, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by anywhere from 25 to 95%. That’s huge. And it gets better.

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Having repeat customers is similar to cutting costs. A mere two percent jump in customer retention rates is monetarily equivalent to cutting costs by ten percent, state Emmett and Mark Murphy in their book Leading from the Edge of Chaos: The 10 Critical Elements for Success in Volatile Times.

Just as increased retention rates are good for profitability, not focusing enough on customer retention and only chasing after new customers brings your profitability down. The cost of bringing a new customer to the same level of profitability as a repeat customer is up to 16x more than the cost of retaining an existing customer.

Now that you’re clear on how crucial repeat customers are to the sustainable growth of your business, let’s take a look at what can be done to keep your joy going and the customers coming back.

1. Hire a good team

A great company is the result of a talented, committed team that feels a deep sense of ownership and loyalty towards the organization and are brand evangelists in their own right.

I mention this as step 1, because everything else you do will flow from here. Your product will be first rate because an intelligent and sincere team was behind it. Because they feel a sense of ownership with the brand, they will offer great service and try to help the customer at every step. Michael LeBoeuf, professor at the University of New Orleans, and author of How to Win Customers and Keep Them For Life, throws light on the biggest reason why customers stop coming back to you:

“68% customers quit because of an attitude of indifference towards them by the owner, manager or some employee.”
~ Michael LeBoeuf

2. Create a great purchase experience

Instead of saying user experience, say buying experience, because this is as important for online businesses as it is for offline.

Make sure your website is clean, clutter-free, well thought out and well designed, to help the customer navigate through, in a painless manner. Make sure your purchase flow is streamlined, well-engineered and user friendly to prevent customers from dropping out mid-purchase. The ShopIntegrator e-commerce plug in is a great example of a smooth and glitch free purchase experience.

Offer exceptional service. This applies to your online service, in traditional stores, on your customer service number, live chat service, shipping and delivery – every customer touch point, period. A customer may not remember average service they received, but they will definitely remember a terrible service experience and worse, spread the word about it. Two key benefits of exceptional service are higher customer loyalty and lower price sensitivity. 86% of customers will pay more for great service, according to an Oracle Customer Experience Impact Report.

3. Keep in touch regularly

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“Out of sight, out of mind” has never been truer than in today’s hyper competitive, super connected world. With the number of different devices, mediums and entities that wish to communicate to your repeat customer, you need to keep pace with your communication if you want to be remembered through all the chaos.

Thankfully, the same technology that creates this “e-chaos” comes to your rescue when it comes to communicating with your valued customers.

Reach out to them through as many platforms as you can realistically manage – Email, SMS, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, SlideShare or any other medium that speaks to your audience. Always remember, your interaction on whichever medium needs to enrich the customer, or else they will not see value in communicating with you and your presence on these platforms will become redundant.

4. Reach out to unhappy customers and learn from them

Just as satisfied customers will gladly turn into brand advocates for you, unhappy customers can ruin your brand reputation and drive away any potential customers you may have had in their social circle.

“A dissatisfied consumer will tell between 9 and 15 people about their experience. About 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people.”

~ White House Office of Consumer Affairs, Washington, DC

Prevent this negative word of mouth from spreading, by nipping it at its bud. The very same platforms referred to above, can be leveraged to reach out to an unhappy customer. Listen to what their problems are, apologize for the trouble they went through and offer a realistic solution that will make the customer happy. Most importantly, take your learning from the problems that your customers highlight and apply them to your business. Customer feedback is the most valuable input you can use to design your business and grow sales.

5. Be nice

Retaining repeat customers is not a clinical task of crunching numbers or rolling out one retention marketing campaign after another. It is about building a one on one relationship between the customer and your brand.

With Big Data and all the various ways to harness it, you have a gold mine of personal information about your customers. Show the customer you care by reaching out to them at times that are special to them – birthdays, anniversaries, a hello after a long purchase absence, a thank you for the purchases they did make – take your pick.

6. Seek permission and preferences from your customers

Automatically opting in a customer to your email list is what a lot of ecommerce sites do by default these days. However, opted in customers are far more likely to respond to your communication than customers that you spam with your emails. Seek your customers’ permission to communicate with them.

Ask them upfront the frequency of communication they prefer and the mode of communication that will work best for them (email, social media, direct mail, SMS). This will give you a customer who is genuinely interested and engaged, plus it will also prove to the customer that you respect their wishes and are their friend.

7. Educate them about how to best use your product

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Many customers buy a product and then leave it to gather dust in a corner as they are too confused to figure out how to put the product together or how to really use them. A good example of a product that just sat there after being bought was the ubiquitous encyclopedia set in every home a few decades ago.

Don’t let your product fall into this trap. Once the first purchase is complete, communicate to the customer on how to use the product, the various benefits it offers, interesting applications of the product and so on. This will not just drive interest and usage of your product, it will also prime the customer for a future purchase from you.

8. Upsell and cross sell products they might like

Earlier we discussed about the wealth of information we now have access to as marketers and business owners. Instead of just pushing your agenda, play nice.

Apply the insights that you gleaned about the customers shopping preferences based on transactional and behavioral data gathered till date and send them details on products that they might enjoy. This shows the customer that you’re listening and that you care, while simultaneously creating revenue opportunities for you.

9. Use artificial advancement on loyalty programs

Give customers a head start on your loyalty program to see greater customer stickiness and higher dollar values from the conversions.

Joseph Nunes and Xavier Dreze, conducted an experiment on the customers at a local carwash. They gave out loyalty cards to 300 customers but split them into two groups without their knowledge. Group 1 got cards that said they had to complete 8 washes with the carwash service to get 1 totally free carwash service. Group 2 got cards that said they had to complete 10 washes at the carwash service to get 1 free carwash service. This card had a twist in its offer. It said, “We’ll give you 2 free washes just to give you a head start in the game.” So in effect, group 2 also needed to do 8 washes to get the 1 free wash.

The results that came in showed that group 2 outperformed group 1 by almost twice the margin! While 19% of the customers from Group 1 completed the 8 washes, a whopping 34% of customers from Group 2 completed the set of 8 washes, thanks to the psychological nudge they got with the “head start” communication.

10. Use display retargeting to maintain top of mind recall

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Retargeting is basically a form of display advertising, where a customer who has visited your site is shown ads related to your brand or the item they browsed, on sites that they visit after they exit your site.

While retargeting is primarily used as a customer acquisition tool, it makes perfect sense to use it as a subtle branding tool for your repeat customers to ensure sustained top of mind recall. It acts as a nudge to accelerate a future purchase or a reminder to repeat customers who are at risk of lapsing.

A study of over 0.25 million online transactions shows that if no efforts are made towards retaining customers, just 5% of all first-time customers will return to your site of their own accord. Of the 5% that does return to your site, only 3% will actually make a second purchase.

KISSmetrics puts the cost of a lost customer at $289 per customer.

Putting these two metrics together, if you get 1000 new customers on your site per week, only 50 will come back to your site for browsing around. Of these only 3% i.e. only 15 customers out of 1000 customers will ever actually make a second purchase. This means you’ve lost 985 first time customers for good. In revenue terms, your weekly loss would be $284,665 or nearly $14.8 million in a year.

It’s your choice – would you rather spend millions of marketing dollars on acquiring new customers who never return or would you dedicate a substantial portion of your marketing efforts to nurture every customer you currently have into a lifelong user and brand advocate?

Image Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4

Shopping cart security: why Trustmarks still matter for small online businesses

trustmarks, online trust marksAs a growing nation of online shoppers I’m sure most of you are familiar with some of the Trustmark security logos placed on websites, such as VeriSign, McAfee and PayPal.  These Trust logos help reassure customers that it is safe for them to shop on a particular website. It means he website will have passed a number of security tests that protects customers from threats like  credit card fraud and identity theft.

So how effective are Trustmark’s in reassuring customers that a website is a safe place to carry out financial transactions or impart personal information?According to The European Consumer Centres’ Network Trust Mark Report 2013, Trustmarks can be defined as:

  Electronic labels or visual representations indicating that an e-merchant has demonstrated its conformity to standards regarding, e.g.,security, privacy, and business practice.”

Consumers have become far more confident shopping online and certainly where a brand is well-known and long established, I suspect  Trustmarks probably make little difference. For example so full of trust  am I in John Lewis’s brand, I don’t think that I have ever looked at or checked their security credentials. However on a site I am new to or unfamiliar with, security reassurance is one of the first things I would check.  Online security is still high up on people’s list on concerns and for smaller online businesses with less established brands reassuring customers with your security credentials is essentails. Indeed research shows:

  • 84% of online shoppers are “concerned to very concerned” about shopping at websites they have never heard of before (McAfee)
  • 69% are concerned about buying at websites where they have not shopped in the past (McAfee)
  • 76% of survey respondents had not purchased something because they hadn’t recognised the logo  (Actual Insights)
  • 61% of participants said that they have at one time not completed a purchase because there were no trust logos present. (Actual Insights)

 How can trust marks help?

For most small businesses it is important to reassure your customers as much as you can about the security and trustworthiness of your site. As we mentioned earlier small businesses and start-ups can’t rely on having an established and recognisable brand to convey trust and therefore need to work harder to convey the credibility of their online business.

Alongside other trust building activities (which we’ll come onto in a moment), Trustmarks can be used to help give  customers confidence that undertaking online payments and transactions involving  personal data is safe and secure.

This can help reduce shopping cart abandonment and increase conversions. Indeed, according to research:

  • 58% of consumers have abandoned their shopping carts over concerns about payment security (Econsultancy)
  • Research by McAfee shoes that showing a McAfee Secure Trustmark can significantly increase sales conversion by an average of 12%

Use Trustmarks as part of a ‘trust package’

Using Trustmarks in isolation won’t work when it comes to getting customers to part with personal information or complete a financial transaction. Rather, Trustmarks should be looked at as one part of a number of wider activities that you need to undertake to give your site credibility. For example:

  • Your website needs to be well designed. It needs to look professional, be easy to navigate and have up-to-date, relevant content. Make sure you contact details and registered address are present and easy to find.
  • Client testimonials, independent reviews and links to official associations can all help convey trust.
  • Your shopping cart and checkout process should be easy to use, linking to a number of PCI DSS compliant payment gateways. And it’s security partner will guard against credit card fraud, identity theft, spyware, and other threats
  • Customer services should be helpful and professional at all times – dealing with queries quickly and efficiently

Trustmarks in combination with the factors listed above will help convey trust and reassure visitors to your site.

 Make sure your Trustmark is recognisable

Choose an online shopping cart solution that is  affiliated with a recognisable Trustmark . A Trustmark should be one that people recognise. Otherwise,  in terms of recognition and it won’t immediately establish as much trust with the consumer as an instantly recognisable one can. Indeed, 64% of people surveyed said an unknown (unrecognisable) Trust logo would affect their sense of trust for a specific website.

In a Trustmark Survey by Actual Insights, the top three most recognised Trust logos were:

  • McAfee 79%
  • VeriSign 76%
  • Paypal 72%

So in summary….

  • Ensure you choose an ecommerce solution that supports and utilises a Trustmark logo
  • Use an online store with one of the most recognisable Trustmarks- For example McAfee
  • Don’t use Trustmarks in isolation but alongside other ‘social proof’ to build trust package 

 

We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this topic. So please do take a moment to leave a comment.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Copywriting: 10 top tips for beginners

 

copywriting tips, copywriting for small business, how to write copy, digital marketing copy, copywriting onlineIf you are a small business owner, chances are you’ll be wearing multiple hats – including that of copywriter. At sometime or another you’ll need to write copy – whether it’s copy for your website, adverts, banner ads, newsletter, leaflets, press releases, blog post or email promotions. Following a few simple tips can help make the whole copywriting experience less daunting and enable you to write effective copy with confidence.

You often hear people lamenting that they can’t write – that good writing is only in the realms of highly paid advertising executives or literary geniuses. However, in reality creating effective and engaging copy is within everyone’s reach, since copywriting is essentially just another way of talking to your customers.

Of course, format and length of copy may well vary depending on what it is you are writing. For example online press releases are formatted with a fairly uniform layout to serve a specific purpose. However, I think that there are a few really helpful tips that can apply to all copywriting  – from a small banner ad to a blog post.

AIDCA – an oldie but a goodie for direct response copywriting

When I started out in marketing nearly 20 years ago, one of the first copywriting ‘guru’s’ I came across was Drayton Bird – an expert in direct marketing copywriting who advocated the AIDCA formula. Even though it’s been around since the 1920’s the AIDCA is a good starting point – and I still use it today 20 years on. It is easy to remember and a useful model that can be applied to almost any piece of copywriting that needs to illicit a response.

A = Attention

Grab readers attention (usually with your headline)

I = Interest

Develop readers interest in your subject / product / feature

D = Desire

Create desire with offer and benefits

C = Conviction

Reassure that they are making right decision (a summary, testimonials and guarantees can work well here)

A = Action

Have a clear call to action

 

10  tips for creating effective copy

In no particular order, here are a few universal tips that I use when I’m copywriting. Hopefully they’ll help give you a bit more confidence when you are putting your copy together.

1.

Most importantly keep in mind who it is you are writing for. Think about who your audience is? Knowing this will help you  communicate your points more effectively. Imagine you are talking to them in person as this will help you get a feel for what tone to use and what is going to capture their interest.

2.

Headlines. These are the first thing that people see and your chance to grab readers attention. Remember your ads, blogs, email and press releases are competing with thousands of other pieces of online content so you need to spend time creating a good headline. Indeed,   “80% of readers never make it past the headline” (Moz.com). There are lots of useful articles available that are worth you taking a look a more detailed look at, but for some basic guidelines I would suggest the following:

 

  • Keep your headline short and to the point – preferably under 10 words. “All in all though, short headlines are easier to scan, and cannot be missed. My general rule of thumb is to write the shortest headline possible that also convincingly conveys a unique benefit to the reader so they’ll read the body.”  (Copy Blogger)
  • Remember you are writing for search engines too – so try and use keywords that reflect the content of your following copy
  • Don’t be try to be too clever. Only really established brands can get away with using off-the-wall headlines. Make sure yours are self explanatory and are relevant to the article you’ve written

3.

Keep it simple. This means don’t waffle on too long using too much flowery language. Write simply and get to the point quickly otherwise you run the risk of your audience losing interest.

4.

Features AND benefits. If you’re talking about a product or service, don’t just focus on a long list of features. You must include the benefits. For example what benefit will a particular feature bring to you audience. This is what will help you convince them that they need to take action.

5.

Write in a friendly manner as if you are talking to a friend. There are of course times for a more formal tone (for example if you are writing a press release you will always write in 3rd person), but for the most part try to write copy as if you are talking directly to a friend as readers will find it more engaging.

6.

Keep sentences and paragraphs short, punchy and to the point. I’m not saying don’t ever include long sentences but if you do follow it with a short one. Too many long sentences  and  your audience’s concentration will wander.

7.

Back up what you are saying with evidence.  For example, including things like statistics, testimonials and reviews will add support to what you are saying and will help convince and reassure your reader.

8.

Do not make the mistake of assuming that those you are writing for will have the same level of understanding on a subject as you. A few readers may have but they will probably be in the minority. Write as if your readers are not familiar with the intricate details of your product or  service and don’t use technical jargon or industry acronyms  without adding in a definition.

9.

Don’t forget your call to action at the end of any copy that you require a response to. Make sure it is clear for the reader to see and easy for them to take action on.

10.

Finally, try to relax into and enjoy what you are writing – this will help with the flow . For my part I find it useful to write an outline plan first – just so I know what I want to cover, then I tend to just write and leave the editing right to the end, rather than interrupting the flow to check grammar, spelling and repetition.

Hopefully there are some useful tips to get you writing with confidence. And, if you’d like to do a bit more reading  on the subject I’ve listed a few helpful websites and articles below.

Useful resources

All Good Copy – Free direct-response copywriting advice

Social Media Today – Begginer Copywriting Tips

How to write a successful online news release

How to start a successful blog for your online business

Drayton Bird Associates – Free marketing library

Social Media Today – how to write great online headlines

Small Businesses Do it Better – The Do’s and Don’ts of Successful Small Business Email Marketing

 

We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this post, so please do leave a comment. Thanks!

Image courtesy of Just2shutter / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

M-commerce: smartphones and purchasing on-the-go

smartphone online shoppingWhat does the growing popularity of smartphones mean for small online businesses ?

Recent years have seen a shift away from online shopping being carried out solely through a PC. Purchasing online is now a multi-device, mobile experience that has fundamentally changed the way consumers shop online.  As M-commerce continues on its steady upward trajectory,  what does this mean for the small business owner? In this post we look at some interesting statistics surrounding smartphones and their growing place in consumers’ online shopping experience.

Mobile phones have become an integral part of our everyday life, for example when was the last time your left home without your mobile device?  I know if I ever leave mine behind, I spend the day subconsciously reaching about for it – so accustomed am I to its constant presence. So,  as mobile technology continues to improve and develop, one has to wonder what effect it will have on online shopping namely,  ‘shopping on the move’.

Shopping with smartphones – what does the future hold?

Actual online purchases made through a Smartphone are currently still lagging behind desk tops and tablets . However,  purchasing via a smartphone is rising and is likely to continue to do so as smartphone sales grow, mobile technology continues to advance and online businesses adapt their websites to be small device compatible.

In the last year, shopping by smartphone and tablet in the UK increased by  18%, with sales via mobile devices doubling to £3bn  .

“About 80% of mobile sales come from tablet computers, but sales via smartphones are growing faster as retailers adapt their websites to make it easier to shop from a phone and the technology improves. Sales from smartphones nearly tripled between 2012 and 2013.” The Guardian Business

Interesting Smartphone  statistics

“Smartphones are our constant shopping companions – helping us research, compare, and even purchase products online and in stores” Google Mobile Ads Blog  

I had a little look for some recent Smartphone statistics and found some interesting reading some of which I’ve listed below.

  • Mobile retail is gaining momentum with more than four in five (87%) smartphone and tablet owners in the US using a mobile device for shopping activities (Nielsen)
  • In the US 34% of mobile internet users admit that their smartphone is their primary device for going online (econsultancy)
  • A quarter of the UK have shopped online using their smartphone. Research shows that 23% of consumers in the UK have bought goods online  their smartphone. (econsultancy)
  • Data from econsultancy’s Multi-channel Retail Survey that the number of consumers that have made a purchase on mobile has roughly doubled in the UK since 2011 from 13% to 25% of consumers.
  • According to e-marketer 4.55 billion people worldwide will use a mobile phone in 2014 with 1.75 billion of those using smartphones
  • In June 2013 more than half (55%) of all ‘retail related’ time spent online originated on smartphones and tablet devices (econsultancy)
  • In the UK Smartphone owners who have used their smartphones to make a purchase has increased from 28% in 2011 to 39% in 2013 (Google Mobile Planet)
  • Smartphone penetration in the UK now stands at 58% (econsultancy)
  • eMarketer expects 4.55 billion people worldwide to use a mobile phone in 2014
    Read more at http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Smartphone-Users-Worldwide-Will-Total-175-Billion-2014/1010536#YeJmgHpqi67eTDtT.99
eMarketer expects 4.55 billion people worldwide to use a mobile phone in 2014
Read more at http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Smartphone-Users-Worldwide-Will-Total-175-Billion-2014/1010536#YeJmgHpqi67eTDtT.99
The global smartphone audience surpassed the 1 billion mark in 2012 and will total 1.75 billion in 2014 Read more at http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Smartphone-Users-Worldwide-Will-Total-175-Billion-2014/1010536#xolsKEfKZ550j9jI.99
The global smartphone audience surpassed the 1 billion mark in 2012 and will total 1.75 billion in 2014 Read more at http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Smartphone-Users-Worldwide-Will-Total-175-Billion-2014/1010536#xolsKEfKZ550j9jI.99

Mobile ecommerce shopping cart checkoutAdapting your website for small screen purchasing

It is important for small online businesses to adapt their websites for small screen purchasing. Even if actual purchasing on smartphones is still relatively low, it is rising steadily year-on-year. And as mobile technology and indeed shopping cart technology improves this is trend is likely to continue.

Equally important is the integral part that smartphones play in the multi-channel online shopping journey. Even if actual end purchasing is still predominantly via tablets and PCs, Smartphones are used for the initial research like checking out your website, downloading vouchers and looking up product reviews.

“In the UK, people are increasingly using their smartphones for researching products, locating stores and making purchases. That’s why it is now essential for businesses to ensure their sites are mobile-ready”. Matt Brocklehurst, Product Marketing Manager at Google

So make sure you don’t dismiss smartphones and the significant part they play in the online shopping journey . Get your website fully optimised to be multi-device compatible –  ensuring your customers experience a seamless online journey – right through to shopping cart and checkout.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this post, so please do leave a comment.

Smartphone carrying shoppingcart courtesy of cuteimage / FreeDigitalPhotos.net