How Smartphones are changing the way consumers shop

As smartphone technology improves, the many uses we have for mobile devices only continues to grow. We use them as our alarms, our clocks, our radios, our desktop computers, our GPS, and so much more. And as the mobile web continues to expand, we also use them as a convenient alternative for one of the world’s best-loved past times: shopping.

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How Mobiles Affect Consumer Behavior

Over the last several years, mobile shopping has exploded popularity. Mobile ecommerce, or m-commerce, as it is known in the industry, is growing faster than any other other means of shopping, taking up roughly 30% of the ecommerce market in 2015, with 62% of smartphone owners making at least one purchase from their mobile devices over a six month period. In addition, 80% of mobile users use their phones while in physical stores to look up more about brands and products. With a growing popularity still on the rise, the influence of mobile devices on consumer behavior is highly evident.

Unparalleled Convenience

Despite the convenience of ecommerce in general, mobile shopping is arguably even easier for modern consumers to use. With mobile shopping, you can literally shop from anywhere mobile web or wifi is available, regardless of proximity to a desktop PC. Mobile devices are, as the name implies, mobile – you can take a phone with you in a pocket or a purse, providing access to any ecommerce site from anywhere at any time of day. Mobile apps take things one step further, giving consumers a straight-forward, streamlined, and unmatched way to access online stores.

Valuable Shopping Tools

In addition to convenience, mobile devices offer a dynamic suite of tools designed to make shopping easier at the push of a button. With the wide array of mobile apps designed to enhance the user experience, offering benefits like promo codes, price comparisons, review pages, and so much more, it’s incredibly simple to find the right product or service with a few taps. Easily downloadable and often free, these kinds of tools streamline an already efficient ecommerce system, giving mobile devices an edge that millions of shoppers use on a regular basis.

Enhanced Marketing Opportunities

Prior to the rise of the internet, advertising was limited to media like radio, television, and print. There was no direct link to consumers that led from an ad to a store; consumers had to choose a shopping destination based solely on personal volition. Today, one click on an ad can take you directly to an ecommerce page that allows you to buy an item and have it shipped directly to your house in a few days. With the prevalence of web ads and in-app advertising, it’s easier than ever for businesses to make connections with customers on mobile devices.

Making the Most of Mobile Shopping

With mobile shopping on the rise, it’s to your advantage to cater to mobile users. Instead of limiting your options to desktop trends, it’s very important to customize your ecommerce page to what mobile platforms are able to do. Targeting mobile users can offer strong advantages: by employing tools like mobile apps, mobile or responsive web design, and connections to mobile pay applications like Apple Pay, you can stay up to date with your customers’ changing shopping habits.

Utilize Mobile Web Design

With 2015’s Mobilegeddon Google algorithm update, having a mobile site is now more important than ever. Companies that do not have mobile websites or employ responsive web design are now at a significant disadvantage, ranking lower in the SERPs and losing thousands of potential page visits. By using the right site design, you can cater to mobile shoppers just as well as desktop shoppers. Some large ecommerce companies even take this a step further, rolling out mobile apps that make shopping even easier and more convenient.

Think User-Friendly Features

For today’s mobile shoppers, features are vitally important. Companies like Amazon, who can offer options like one-click shopping, ultrafast shipping, and the ability to add reviews with a click, have this market cornered, providing easy, user-friendly amenities that make customers more likely to make purchases. When pages are slow to load, awkward to navigate, and require lots of information to be entered, consumers are far more likely to abandon their carts and go elsewhere. Make optimization a priority, or risk losing customers to competition with a better selection of features and options.

Make Shipping Fast and Affordable

Problematic shipping is one of the biggest deterrents for consumers; a vast majority of shoppers list expensive shipping as the number one reason for cart abandonment. When you can’t provide the convenience mobile customers are used to, they’re far less likely to make a purchase with you. By utilizing a shipping extension like ShipIt on your mobile ecommerce platform, you can make it easy to offer the flexibility and shipping speeds customers love, especially for mobile users who appreciate expedient opportunities. When you prioritize shipping, you can easily give customers something to love about your m-commerce operations.

Ignoring mobile shoppers is a risk no business can afford to take. As smartphones dominate the marketplace, this includes online shopping, making how you treat mobile users very important. By taking the time to offer features and opportunities specific to mobile devices and focusing on convenient customer service options like fast shipping, you can do what it takes to keep mobile customers engaged, in the loop, and eager to return.