Five Reasons Now is the Time to Prioritise M-commerce

Mobile: the undisputed platform of choice

George Gabriel, 31 March 2016

With smartphones overtaking laptops as the most commonly used internet device and nearly half of users regularly making purchases on mobile1, there has never been a more opportune moment to prioritise your m-commerce strategy. With 40% of consumers expressing that their mobile experience could have been improved in 20152, we look at the ways to build effective, successful m-commerce strategies.

Mobile: the undisputed platform of choice

In previous years, mobile was considered a secondary platform: a convenient tool for getting snippets of information while on the go or when without a computer. Reading an email on the train or checking the weather while waiting for the bus were seen as its main use cases, with m-commerce and shopping somewhat of an afterthought.

Today that notion has been entirely shattered, and mobile has matured into a powerful and multi-faceted tool that has become the platform of choice for the majority of users. Smartphones have dethroned laptops as the most widely-used internet-enabled devices, with 66% of UK households owning at least one, versus the 65% of households that own a laptop.3

Meanwhile, 99% of users in a Pew survey reported regularly using their smartphone at home, trumping the 82% of people using their devices while on the go or away from a computer.4 Salesforce research indicates that as many as 70% of smartphone owners will use their device while watching TV5, and it’s clear to see that mobile has become a facilitator of universal internet access both in and out of the home.

Smartphones are now the most widely-used devices for accessing the internet, passing laptops for the first time.

Speed and convenience for m-commerce success

No longer an afterthought, m-commerce has taken centre stage in the mobile-first world, and almost 50% of UK users now regularly make purchases with their smartphones; even when there’s a PC or physical store nearby.6 PayPal data showed that m-commerce has grown by 42% between 2013-2016, and when compared to the 13% growth of e-commerce proves that the need to build efficient, intelligent mobile commerce solutions is greater than ever.7

It should go without saying that creating a great experience revolves around putting your users’ context at the very heart of the solution; a consideration of critical importance when on mobile. While we know people are happy to choose mobile over desktop, even when at home, incoming calls, notifications, connectivity, and screen size are all mobile-specific factors that can distract users or interrupt a successful checkout experience. For that reason the process must prioritise speed, convenience, and ease of use, enabling orders to be made quickly and without fuss.

It’s a goal we constantly strive to achieve with Domino’s Pizza, and the mobile apps we design and develop now process £6.5m in sales each week. From simple time-saving considerations like saved card details and previous orders, to a seamless one-touch ordering button, we attempt to reduce the amount of steps it takes a user to go from adding items to their basket to making their payment.

And, although mobile usage is higher than during any other point in the past, hundreds of businesses, services, and apps are competing for the finite amount of time that users have each day. With Mobify research indicating that around 80% of smartphone purchases are considered spontaneous8, your mobile commerce experience needs to be able to facilitate purchases at these opportune moments with speed and convenience, or face not being completed at all.

With m-commerce growing at three times the rate of e-commerce, the need for an effective mobile strategy is greater than ever before.

Giving m-commerce a dedicated strategy

Despite being seen as desktop’s faster, more convenient alternative, that doesn’t mean mobile commerce should just be a simplified, stripped-down version of a desktop website. As a channel that works in an entirely different way, mobile commerce needs its own strategy that receives well-planned time and attention. Considerations such as button placement, field-specific keyboards, and automatically-filling text fields can go to great lengths in giving users a friendlier checkout experience, leaving them more likely to complete (and repeat) a transaction.

Although much of this sounds like stating the obvious, 40% of consumers in 2015 felt their mobile experience could have been improved9, while 54% of millennials admitted that a poor mobile experience would reduce their likelihood of continuing to shop with that business.10  With conversion rates almost half of what they are on desktop – 2.46% versus 4.55% – it’s clear that for many brands there are still too many barriers in the way of an effective mobile shopping experience. It will never be enough to simply port an e-commerce strategy onto a smaller screen, and whether in the form of a native app or responsive website, your mobile commerce strategy needs to be treated with care, time, attention, and crucially, as a platform in its own right.

40% of consumers in 2015 felt their m-commerce experience could have been improved; what steps are you taking to improve that for your business?