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Mobile e-commerce: How to get better exposure
06 February | Posted by @Guy Michon
Mobile e-commerce just showed up on the radar of online merchants that still considered it far too marginal until recently. The defining moment of e-commerce in 2012 was in fact the strong rise of mobile phone transactions in the United States. More significantly, purchases made by new tablet owners have exceeded -for the first time- those made with smartphones.
According to an e-Marketer study, the volume of sales made from mobile devices surged 81% in 2012, reaching almost 25 billions of dollars in the United States while e-commerce in general grew 15% totalling 266.7 billions of dollars. This growth led the marketing research company to say that 2012 was finally the year of the mobile for e-commerce activities, a prediction that was proved false over several years earlier.
The launch of tablets
After having gained in impact against smartphones last year, it is predicted that tablets will generate close to 10% of the total volume of online sales this year. In 2016, tablets will drive 16.9% of online sales while smartphones will be responsible for only 6.7% of these same sales.
First, Forbes -according to several studies the magazine relied on last August- explains that tablet users have the tendency to watch three times more videos than smartphone owners. Moreover, this experience is 144% more likely to result in a purchase on e-commerce websites, simply because 52% of buyers’ level of confidence increases after watching a video.
In addition, other factors have to be taken into consideration even if they’re not directly related to a purchase. For example, web traffic from a mobile phone that already accounts for a quarter of the network’s traffic. Incidently, the same thing goes for those who check their emails with a mobile phone.
Then, it is noted that most of these users spend their time looking for what they want before finalizing their transaction on their computer, where they feel more comfortable. Furthermore, showrooming - in which consumers make their choice inside a store before seeking out for the best price on the Internet - is definitely here to stay. In fact, eConsultancy considers that 44% of mobile users are "showroomers".
An innovate strategy
In order to better seize all these opportunities, e-commerce websites have no other choice than to adapt their design to mobile devices, as a first step. Until recently, the only way to accomplish that was to develop an optimized version for each type of device. As for various screen sizes (mini-tablets having being introduced to the market recently), they could quickly prove to be prohibitive for less well-off businesses such as SMEs, more specifically.
Fortunately, a new approach called Responsive Web Design provides an answer to the problem. In simple terms, this innovation consists in separating web contents whose elements are then saved into a single version, and in distributing them on a screen that adapts to the resolution of the device used to view the website. This approach has spread like wildfire and has been adopted by many frequently-visited websites.
To see how this approach works from your desktop, go to http://itineraire.ca/, a website for which we’ve created the responsive web design. By resizing your browser’s screen, you will notice that the content adjusts gradually according to the space that’s available. This approach is interesting in that it can also be applied to e-mail design.
I hope that these few words have helped you to better understand the importance of mobile commerce today. Also, keep in mind that responsive web design is one of the first strategies to consider when taking the e-commerce turn.
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