What 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)
Adapting 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