The concept of catering to consumers online is not a new one. Today we buy everything from groceries to holidays without ever venturing out of the comfort of our own home. In 2012 alone 26% of consumers had dinner delivered to their doorsteps, with just the click of a button.
Our consumer love affair with the convenience of online has been strengthened last year when “Cyber Monday” well and truly landed on our shores. Invented by American marketing companies to encourage people to shop online, this cyber shopping frenzy has now been added to calendars around the globe.
According to the Guardian, in 2013 “Cyber Monday” provided Amazon with its busiest day of the year, selling on average of 47 items per second. On that day alone Amazon is reported to have made 4.1m in sales.
However, consumer behaviour online is also changing. The world now fits into the palm of our hands– modern life is accessible via a series of taps and scrolls. With the wide spread use of smart phones, comes a new medium for retailers to cater for.
During the weekend of Friday November 29th-Monday December 2nd, mobile sales accounted for 30% of total transactions, generating a 150% increase in mobile sales; triple what it ever was before.
It isn’t just the ability to purchase impulse buys before Christmas that smart phones have opened up to the world, they have also lead to the emergence of the phenomenon of “show rooming”. This has seen people treating every purchase with the same consideration as they might with a big investment. Physical stores are now being used like car show rooms, with people testing out products, using their smart phones to search out the best deals. It is this transparency that is one of the reasons mobile retailing has been such a success. It is therefore mandatory for companies to optimise their websites for mobile use. Although traditional sites can still be viewed on these devices, they appear clumsy and hard to navigate resulting in lower conversion rates.
One business reaping the rewards of a website optimised for Mobile is UK fashion retailer Mainline Menswear. They launched a mobile site back in 2012 and saw their mobile traffic grow by 46% in the following 6 months. Mobile traffic now contributes 40% of their overall online visits and counts for 35% of their total revenue. Interestingly, it would appear that Apple users are leading the way in this form of consumerism as 80% of mobile traffic that comes to Mainline Menswear is from Apple products.
Having a strong mobile platform has ensured that along with their concrete stores they are fully utilising retailing opportunities to maximise conversion.
Mobile optimisation is now a strong factor in online retailing and something to be taken seriously by any company. To ignore this emerging platform could be detrimental to any business. Kevin Lynch, Adobe’s CTO claimed recently, that mobile is an even bigger shift than the PC revolution: “This could well mean we’re facing a possible redirection of the online consumer world, one which may see mobile sites overtake their stationary counterparts.”
With easy mobile navigation proven to increase traffic and therefore overall business, it could be costly to get left behind.