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Why mcommerce sites are heading for uncharted waters this Christmas

26th Nov 2014
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The number of UK consumers who own a smartphone has quadrupled in the last five years, so it’s of no surprise that mobile commerce is in a period of exceptional growth.
And with 2014 having seen mcommerce activity grow beyond all expectations, this year’s holiday season is forecast to push mobile sites to their limits.    
While previous festive periods have seen increasing mobile traffic for retailers year-on-year; traditionally, the bulk of shoppers have used their mobile devices for research rather than for transaction purposes.
However, statistics from Moxie suggest Christmas 2014 could see as much as 25% of all ecommerce transactions delivered through mobile devices. Additionally, in an accompanying survey, Moxie also found that 31% of UK mobile shoppers expect to spend £500 or more when buying with their smartphones or tablets.

And with EpiServer’s latest study stating that half of mobile shoppers are irritated by a poor experience when shopping via their mobile devices caused by problems including slow site speeds (49%), unresponsive sites (48%) and difficulties logging in (35%), how well mcommerce sites deal with the yuletide rush will be intriguing.

Research from eDigitalResearch suggests that telecoms developments such as 4G have had a positive impact on mcommerce, with over two thirds (68%) of 4G users saying that faster access to the internet actually encouraged them to make more purchases from their smartphone.

But the market research company’s commercial director, Derek Eccleston suggests too many retailers are yet to fully optimise their online experiences to account for the impending hike in traffic:   

“Smartphones have had a fundamental effect on all shopping journeys, not just online, but in store as well. Our tracking over the years has revealed that over one third (36%) of consumers now use their mobile’s when out shopping to check product and customer reviews alone.

“As Shop Direct’s Alex Baldock suggests, by 2015, every transaction could involve a mobile device at some point in the shopping journey – it signals the importance for retailers to optimise every part of their customer experience – from online to in store”.

Tim Jenkins, UK director of e-Spirit recently suggested that retailers were based placed to ensure an easier route to purchase for mobile customers:

“If the check-out is complicated, requesting a lot of information (shipping address, invoice address, payment info, etc.) on the small screen, customers will discard their shopping tour. Forms need to be easy to fill out with the small keypad, only ask for relevant information to keep forms short, provide secure but easy log-in functionality.”


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