Not a one-horse race: How to win at mobile commerce

Mobile commerce is here to stay.

With the emerging proliferation of new technologies and the increasing focus on mobile, retailers are discovering the hard way that mobile commerce, it’s win big or go home. Businesses with the best mobile sites will continue to dominate, taking a significantly larger share of mobile sales and leaving competitors in their wake.

Recent Criteo research shows that globally, the leading 25 per cent of mobile retailers saw 50 per cent of their sales from mobile. However, the harsh reality is that a lot of mobile retail experiences are still not up to standard and are difficult to navigate for consumers. We’re at a point now where consumers demand a seamless experience and a mobile-site that is easy to use, or they will go elsewhere. So here are a few things marketers and retailers should keep in mind for their m-commerce strategy:

There’s no going back

Japan and the UK have crossed the line for the first time and are now selling more via mobile and desktop, which is huge. According to Criteo research, year-on-year, the biggest increases in mobile’s share of retail transactions were seen in Australia, Brazil and France.

Mobile transactions increase as more retailers design mobile-friendly sites. Countries with the highest percentage of mobile-friendly sites also see the greatest share of mobile transactions. To get ahead in the game, commit to improving site navigation and usability for your mobile consumer.

Smartphones vs tablet

Our research has found that for the first time ever, smartphones now deliver the majority of mobile transactions in every major market. In Australia, more than 70 per cent of transactions come from a smartphone instead of a tablet. This suggests that it is more important than ever for marketers and retailers to have a mobile experience that is engaging and easy to use, or they risk being left behind.

Globally, smartphones will continue to be the device of choice for commerce, especially as technology advances, devices become more user-friendly and more retail businesses design for mobile-friendly experiences. This isn’t to say that retailers should lose sight of tablets altogether, but aim to always have an understanding of which platforms consumers prefer as it is likely to continue changing as technology advances.

Apps are where it’s at

Consumers love apps…that work. Having a compact, navigable interface is key to driving sales and increasing customer loyalty. Apps can deliver up to 54 per cent of all mobile transactions. In a global market, retailers whose apps offer advanced capabilities like offline content, instant loading and personalisation create richer experiences and see a seven per cent increase in transactions year-on-year.

Apps close the deal with consumers, delivering more efficient transactions than any other channel. Not only do apps retain new users better as well as keeping customers coming back, they also convert at much higher rates than either desktops or mobile browsers. So, it pays to take the time in ensuring firstly, that you actually have an app, and secondly that it is designed in a way that is consumer-friendly and fully functional with all the mod cons.

Apps will continue to be the most efficient channel, especially for engaging new users, until mobile web technology advances to meet the expectations of shoppers accustomed to an app experience.

As mobile commerce evolves and retailers are faced with the challenge of staying relevant, brand and customer experience will become the main differentiator. Mobile retailers that provide a rich and personalised experience across all devices and environments will continue to outpace the industry average.

Pressy Sankaran, ANZ Commercial Director, Criteo