According to Statcounter, 51.3 % of webpages were loaded on mobile devices in October 2016 (based on the 2.5 million websites tracked). On the back of this shift from desktop to mobile, Google started to test mobile-first indexing. What is this exactly? The mobile version of a website is now more important than the desktop version, and Google is planning to change their algorithms accordingly.
If this news didn’t shock ecommerce website owners into an overhaul of the mobile-version of their websites, the next piece of news just might. According to eMarketer’s Mobile Commerce Roundup, mobile purchases are expected to account for 34.5% of all ecommerce sales in 2018. And by 2021, the percentage is expected to surpass the 50% mark.
How did it come to this?
Since 2007, seven billion smartphones have been produced worldwide. They are now the most widely owned internet-enabled device at 66%.
Step one in their rise as an ecommerce tool is the development of the devices themselves. Whether it’s paying your bills or controlling your heating on the go, smartphones are constantly evolving to become the one stop device to run and manage your life. Feeling a little chilly on your commute home? Just log onto an app on your smartphone, turn on your heating, and your house will be nice and warm by the time you’re back.
Clearly, it was only a matter of time until people used smartphones for shopping. And it’s long been common-practice to use mobile devices for browsing products. 72% of shoppers opt for their smartphones during the research stage, quickly flicking through the options on the go. Traditionally, however, many shoppers switch to a desktop computer to make a purchase.
So, why are people now choosing to purchase via their smartphone opposed to their laptops and desktops?
Appealing to customer needs
It’s partly down to technological advances on mobile sites. Speedy mobile checkouts and even one touch purchases have made mobile ecommerce easier and faster than ever before. You only have to look at Amazon for an example of these features working perfectly. They have offered customers a quick and easy mobile checkout and now see 70% of their sales coming from mobile devices.
Security is another major factor, as shoppers increasingly feel safe using their smartphones to make purchases. Over half of people with access to 4G are reported to keep up to date with their online banking on their smartphone, demonstrating the amount of trust people have in the security of their phones.
A changing target market
However, it’s also down to who is making the purchases. Millennials have become the nation’s largest buying group after joining the workforce. With increasingly more disposable cash, they will make a huge impact on this shift to mobile. Why? They’re the first generation that, by and large, see mobile devices as “second nature”.
Having had mobile internet access for most of their lives, it’s not something they see as alien. That’s reflected in 85% of them being armed with smartphones. And this figure is only going to increase as we welcome generation Z to the workforce, who have essentially been born into a world of instant access and high-tech enhancements.
Need help with your ecommerce site?
With smartphones on the rise, now is the time for every ecommerce businesses to ensure their online store is mobile friendly. Failure to act could have a detrimental impact, as rankings and sales could drop significantly.
Here at Fluid Digital, we specialise in mobile-friendly Magento ecommerce websites. Whether you’re launching a new site of overhauling and existing one, our team of web design experts would love to talk to you. If you’d like to find out more, take a look at our award-winning projects or – even better – get in touch for a chat. We look forward to hearing from you.