Holiday 2013: The Year Mobile Takes Over?

November 14, 2013

Emarketer mobile chartNumbers from research firm eMarketer indicate that m-commerce will jump 56% in 2013 from 2012, predicting that this year’s U.S. retail sales from smartphones and tablets will reach $39 billion!

Deloitte corroborates eMarketer’s mobile-heavy story with the recently revealed results of its 2013 Annual Holiday Survey of more than 5,000 consumers nationwide.

First of all, Deloitte’s research found that 60% of consumers now have smartphones, and of those smartphone users, nearly 7 out of 10 plan to use their phone for shopping purposes this holiday.

Deloitte asked shoppers for details on how they plan to use their smartphones this holiday season and received a  multitude of responses from research to showrooming to purchasing to deal-seeking.  Here is the full breakdown from Deloitte:

Deloitte Mobile Chart

The majority of these shoppers will still be using their mobiles for finding store locations and comparing prices, but 31% plan to make purchases with their smartphones.

Use these strategies to make sure you’re prepared for the mobile shopper this year:

1.      Get your products on eBay and Amazon

These websites already have apps with impressive followings, and if your products are on the sites, they will show up in mobile search results.  In fact, according to Nielsen, eBay and Amazon claim the top two spots on the list of the most popular mobile commerce apps in the U.S.  EBay’s app has been downloaded more than 162 million times, and Amazon’s 64.9 million.  Chances are, building your own app would cost much more and wouldn’t get you a fraction of the traffic you’d get through these apps.  Find out more about Amazon and eBay’s mobile apps in this eBook.

2.      Properly bid your Google Enhanced Campaigns

With Enhanced Campaigns, mobile is bid as a derivative of your tablet/PC bid.  Therefore, you have to be careful not to submit the same bid on all devices, as that could lead to overspending on either mobile or tablet/PC bids.  Analyze performance by device and make sure you are creating device-specific ads and sitelinks.  ChannelAdvisor does this automatically – find out how in our Autumn Release eBook.

3.      Make sure your website is responsively designed

Responsively designed websites automatically detect the device being used and respond by offering the optimal viewing experience. Flexible images and fluid grids size correctly to fit the screen. With the increasing adoption of tablets and smartphones worldwide, and the continuing trend of multidevice shopping, responsive design may become standard in the future. Build a website once and it works seamlessly across thousands of screens. For users, it ensures the ideal experience on every screen.

4.      Meet the need for speed

Mobile shoppers are impatient!  A KISSMetrics study found that 49% of mobile shoppers abandoned a mobile site if it took 10 seconds to load.  Google’s PageSpeed Insights will help you check site speed and offer suggestions to make it faster. Keep in mind that improperly sized images can cause slow load times; a Rich Media solution can address that concern.

5.      Make sure your product information is up-to-date

Not only do you need to regularly update your inventory amounts, but you also need to make sure your product information is up-to-date and comprehensive.  Per the Deloitte survey above, the third-most common reason shoppers are using their smartphones is to get product information, and the fifth-most reason is to read reviews.  Providing detailed product information as well as reviews can help shoppers find out more about the items they are interested in, and could encourage them to buy from your mobile site.

6.     Consider offering free Wi-Fi

Rather than fighting showrooming, retailers could embrace it by offering free Wi-Fi in their stores.  Per Deloitte’s study, 14% of mobile shoppers would be more likely to purchase from a retailer that offered Wi-Fi for comparison shopping.  That’s not where it ends, however.  Thirty-two percent of shoppers think that if store employees are equipped with mobile technology they can provide a better shopping experience.  Some 22% were open to buying from associates who had mobile checkout devices.

Mobile shopping is certainly hitting its stride this holiday season. We’ll be watching closely to see if it lives up to the predictions of eMarketer.  In the meantime, use these tips to help increase your mobile conversions, and check out the tip sheet below for more ideas.

Blog post by Delisa Reavis, Sr. Mgr., Global Corp Comm, Marketing Director, APAC

Mobile holidayWant more holiday mobile tips?  Check out our 8 Holiday Tips for Mobile Tip Sheet and learn how you can turn those browsing shoppers into buying customers.