There’s no stopping online payments. Despite the current economic turmoil and the many different online threats, both real and imagined, online payments have never stopped growing. What has stopped growing, however, is sales from desktop computers. The torch has now been passed to ‘m-commerce’, or mobile commerce.
Tablets are leading the charge in mobile commerce, with smartphones a close second. When online shopping became a reality, people spent less and less time going to the store because they could shop from home. Now people can shop from wherever they want, both in and out of the house.
M-commerce is a misleading label for two reasons:
- To bundle both smartphones and tablets under the same heading oversimplifies things. Consumers use the two technologies in radically different ways. 4 out of 5 phone-based purchases are made using apps, while tablet-based purchases are made through the mobile version of websites.
- The majority of mobile purchases actually take place at home. Consumers have developed the habit of always having their phone or tablet on them. Most shoppers make their mobile purchases while sitting on the couch with their smartphones or lying in bed with their tablets.
Online catalogues accessible by smartphones and tablets are being used like magazines. Consumers often just want to browse, even if they’re not going to make a purchase. By offering an attractive and enjoyable online experience, you can keep them coming back. With social media on the rise, even when consumers aren’t purchasing items that they like, they’ll often help spread awareness by posting their cool finds on sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
The latest trend in retail is the phenomenon of ‘showrooming’ – when shoppers browse a brick-and-mortar store, phone in hand, only to purchase what they find online at a better price. According to comScore, 35% of shoppers have admitted to showrooming.
Naturally, the businesses that are seeing the most success are those that have adapted to this new trend the most quickly. Because consumers need to install an app for most smartphone shopping, the early adopters have had a major advantage in app-based purchases. Once a shopper has the eBay, Amazon and Walmart apps on their phone, they can buy almost anything. Why would they install any more?
The Rise of Tablets
The good news is that the domination of app-based purchases doesn’t apply to tablets, the new favorite tool of the online shopper. In the UK for example, tablets account for 85% of mobile sales!
But it’s too soon to tell if this trend is here to stay or if there will be a closer balance between tablet and smartphone shopping. The challenge for retailers is not to pick a side – not to adapt strictly for smartphones or strictly for tablets, but to become ‘platform agnostic’. That means constructing a mobile platform built for any device.
Retailers need to put a lot of thought into how their websites come across in all technologies. All three platforms – desktop, tablet and smartphone – are still major sales avenues. Whichever technology a customer prefers, if you offer them an easy, user-friendly and secure experience on that platform, you will see your sales increase.
The last step in cashing in on the rise in mobile sales is using a secure e-commerce processor. With Payza’s secure online payment platform, you can provide your customers with a trusted way to pay. Our simple and streamlined checkout page allows your customers to complete a purchase in just 3 easy steps, and with our free integrated shopping carts you can provide a simple and familiar checkout option for shoppers.