Why You Need a Mobile E-Commerce Strategy Now

4 minute read
Scott K. Wilder avatar

If you are focused on e-Commerce, customer support or involved with any website, you need to think about the implications mobile has on your offerings. If you’ve avoided jumping on this bandwagon, there are some trends that might convince you it is time.

The Demand Exists

  1. Smartphone ownership in the USA is 46%.
  2. Smartphone adoption is on the rise in nearly every corner of the globe.
  3. Since Christmas 2011, the tablet market has grown 19%.
  4. Smartphone users are more likely to buy from retailers with mobile- optimized sites.
  5. When faced with mobile site difficulty, 40% of consumers said they will go to a competitor’s website, and 19% said that a negativemobile site experience leaves the user with a very unfavorable impression of the company.
  6. 62.4 million Americans access Facebook via their mobile device each month, with 38.2 million of these respondents stating that they use their phones to connect to social media almost every day.
  7. Nearly 60% of respondents use Facebook via their mobile device toread updates of organizations, brands or events.

(Data above from the Dac Group).

Strategies Currently in Use

Many companies, such as Starbucks, now place more development resources on their mobile platforms than traditional websites.These companies realize that mobile commerce is important to their business and requires:

  1. Redesigning and simplifying a company’s website by focusing on marketing to the critical few -- the 20% of the features that 80% of their customers use.
  2. Price flexibility because consumers can now walk into a retail bricks-and-mortar location, scan the bar code of a product into their cell phone, and quickly do a price check -- it forces e-commerce companies to develop different pricing options.
  3. Augmented Reality, which enables you to overlay many dynamic content sources into an augmented reality view through your phone's camera video.
  4. Integration of Social Elements providing customers with real-time reviews and information about who in their network has used a certain product.
  5. Location Based Promotions leveraging GPS capability and promoting products and services when a customer is within proximity of a retail store.
  6. Reduced and Improved Search Results by combining the top two pages of a regular search page into one page -- statistics show that most people only view 1-2 pages.
  7. More Video especially now that YouTube traffic represents the biggest source of mobile video traffic around the world.
  8. Micropayments on the Go where you just pay as you accumulate digital products.
  9. Real-time verification of Product Issues by photographing or taking a video of any damaged areas and sending it to the manufacturer or e-commerce site so they can overnight you a replacement.
  10. A Facebook Strategy  since nearly 60% of Facebook’s traffic comes from mobile phones, businesses need to think about how to leverage that platform either by selling directly or driving users to their own mobilized site.

Despite the fact that more and more people in the United States walk around with a smartphone or tablet, many companies still have not jumped on the bandwagon; they don’t have a mobile e-commerce strategy nor one for customer service. In short, these companies will need to spend the rest of 2012 and 2013 catching up.

Learning Opportunities

Yankee Group's latest Mobile Money Forecast finds the value of global mobile transactions will grow from US$ 241 billion in 2011 to more than US$ 1 trillion by 2015, which is a CAGR of 56%. Also, as Google points out, 57% of Google’s consumers won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site, and 40% have turned to a direct competitor after a bad mobile experience.

This triggers a whole new subject. So far, I have only talked about the impact on e-commerce, but mobile will also impact customer service and product development. Send me your thoughts on these areas so I can include them in a future blog post.

Editor's Note: You may also be interested in reading:

About the author

Scott K. Wilder

Scott K. Wilder manages Partner Economy, LLC, a new B2B Marketing and Sales consulting firm focused on leveraging data to drive actionable results and positive ROI.

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