Mobile Overtakes Desktop Shopping For First Time: Are You Ready?

Author Zara Burke

2014 has been filled with speculation about if and when mobile shopping will overtake its desktop counterpart. Well it just has. According to a study by IMRG 52% of retail traffic now comes from mobile devices. More people are buying on mobile too with smartphones and tablets accounting for over 36% of UK eCommerce sales. There’s never been a better time to ask: How mobile ready is my website?

“Today, over half of the traffic to johnlewis.com comes from mobile and tablet devices and we’ve also seen an increase in the conversion rate of traffic to sales,” said Mark Lewis, Online Director at John Lewis. What’s more the report also revealed that the total estimated online spend during the quarter was £24.2bn, with £8.7bn spent via smartphones and tablet devices alone. It makes sense for Irish retail businesses to capitalise on the mobile movement too. Below we’ll show you how to make the most of your design, content and promotion on the teeny tiniest of screens.

1. Responsive Design & SEO

Firstly, it’s important to ensure your website is responsive or at least mobile optimized. Creating a seamless and easy-to-use experience for your customers will ensure that they stay for longer.According to Google 67% of people are more likely to buy from a mobile-friendly site, while 61% are eager to leave when they can’t find what they’re looking for. Seems a shame after investing so much time into your website and marketing.

Head of Google Webspam, Matt Cutts has also confirmed the value of having a responsive website for SEO benefits. A mobile-friendly website is great but Matt says, ‘if you don’t handle that well and don’t do the rel=”canonical” you might in theory divide the page rank of these two pages (your desktop and mobile sites).” This is where responsive design has a distinct advantage over mobile websites: there’s only one URL fighting for the search engine’s attention.

Matt Cutts speaking about how responsive design affects SEO:

Do you have a mobile site? That’s perfectly fine as long as you follow Google’s best practice and avoid duplicate content. But if you are looking to go responsive you can check out this list of 25 of the prettiest responsive WordPress themes in 2014.

2. Clear & Concise Content

The IMRG report shows that mobile bounce rates have risen to 28% from 25% in the previous quarter. Creating clearer copy and navigation can cut your customer’s frustration, convincing them to stay, browse and hopefully buy. On smaller screens creating visually appealing and easy-to-navigate content becomes ever more important. Start by breaking up your text into small and easy-to-read paragraphs. How? Bullet points, numbered lists and subheadings are all great ways to ease the strain of clunkier copy.

Looking to create more of an impact? Use less words. For example, a smaller screen-size for mobile banners means your call-to-action has to work harder. Lastly, don’t forget emails and newsletter templates need to be optimised too. The most popular email providers like MailChimp have their own responsive design templates, allowing you to preview your email’s content on both your desktop and mobile devices. Handy!

3. Mobile Marketing

There’s big money to be made in mobile – mobile commerce now accounts for 36% of retail sales. It therefore makes sense to make the most of mobile features and capabilities. Consider using a click-to-call button that allows customers to instantly reach you. A quicker call can often mean a quicker sale.

With one in three businesses still not using mobile marketing you can give yourself a distinct advantage. The most important thing to remember when mobile marketing is this: providing value to your customers should be top of your list.

Try offering mobile coupons and exclusive mobile-only offers to drive traffic to your mobile site. And traditional retailers with an online presence can try multi-channel marketing by utilizing a mobile technology like iBeacon. iBeacon allows you to reach your customers’ mobile device while they shop in your store, enabling you to create and send targeted messages and promotions.

What’s Next?

Experts predict that mobile will continue to overtake desktop usage in the coming year. Alex Smith-Bingham, Vice President, Digital Services Leader, Capgemini, said: ”As retailers further develop their m-commerce platforms and as the technology becomes increasingly more sophisticated, we’ll see the role of the desktop in our day-to-day shopping cycle diminish. It will be very interesting to see just how wide the gap between mobile and traditional e-retail will become in 12 months’ time.”

Mobile is one of the fastest growth areas within digital marketing. We’ve developed the Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing for anyone responsible for the planning, execution or measurement of mobile marketing campaigns. The course covers everything from apps and gaming to mobile commerce and messaging. Need to upskill? Find out more here.

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Zara Burke