Mobile commerce, or m-Commerce, is all about making purchases from internet enabled mobile devices such as phones or tablets. Shopping on mobile devices is helping to drive online retail sales in the UK to new heights. In the first quarter of 2013 1 in 5 retail sales were from mobile customers and mobile browsers accounted for nearly one third of website page views in the UK*
Consumers in the UK are spending more and more time browsing the internet on the go, and buying from a mobile or tablet is becoming an increasingly trusted way to purchase online. The peak time for such usage is between 5pm and midnight**, so if you still believe it’s just people browsing on the move with no intention to buy you could be missing out.
Here are four ways your business can connect with this growing number of mobile visitors and turn them into customers:
1. Identify how customers want to use your website
Your website analytics can provide you with information on how mobile and tablet visitors use your site, the type of content they’re after, and which pages make them drop off. This information can help you decide ways to improve your website. Is there potential to turn your browsers into buyers with more streamlined navigation and check-out pages? Or should you be focusing on making sure mobile visitors can instantly identify your website as a trusted source, even on a smaller screen?
2. Optimise your website
Think about what your customers see when they view your website on their phone or tablet. Are the buttons and navigation easy to use on a small screen? And most importantly, how does your business translate to someone browsing and potentially buying? The smaller the screen the more important the details are; customer endorsements, awards and accreditations, and a .co.uk domain name can help show visitors that you’re a trusted British business.
3. Invest in a responsive website or app
When it comes to optimising your website for mobile and tablet users there are different options available depending on your business and customer needs:
- Responsive websites adjust to the device it is viewed on and are ideal for customers who are browsing and researching.
- Native apps download all the information to a mobile or tablet so it can be viewed without an internet connection, and are considered best for businesses needing to impart information quickly.
- Web based apps access information via the internet and allow customers to quickly buy or book via their tablet or mobile, but generally these involve a higher investment.
4. Make your business easy to find
More people search for businesses online than anywhere else, so it’s important to make sure your local business listing can be easily found on Google and Google Maps. Research shows that up to 77% of UK mobile searchers look up business locations, up to 67% look for directions and up to 47% look up phone numbers. Around 40% of these will intend to make a purchase within a day of their search.*** So it’s vital to check your online business listings and information are up to date so that these potential customers can find you easily. If you don’t already have a listing you can create one free on Google Places; this will give you prominence when customers are searching for local businesses. Websites with a .co.uk domain are also more likely to be ranked higher in UK searches by Google.
* IMRG and Capgemini, 2013
** ComScore report, 2013
*** Nielsen, 2013