How important is M-commerce (mobile commerce) to your business?
Considering the growth in smartphone usage, your answer will most likely be "pretty important" or "I want to start investing in an M-commerce strategy now so that when it becomes important I will be on the right curve".
The question is what is mobile development strategy should we adopt for our business?
While this question may seem to have a simple answer, it isn’t. What is abundantly clear is, if you can’t reach your customers through a pleasing mobile experience when compared to your competitors that do, you will lose-out. What’s required is to understand the statistics of how consumers behave when using mobile devices alongside desktops/laptops and use these to influence your mobile strategy.
How many website visits are on mobile vs desktop devices?
Again, while the answer seems straight forward it isn’t. We need to be cautious how we interpret data on time spent. The truth is most of the time we spend on our smartphones is actually on Social media and checking emails. The excessive amount of time we spend on our Mobiles has led to a common mind-set of 'Mobile-First' design. This is at the least an over simplistic view. In 2010, in his keynote address to the Mobile World Congress former CEO of Google Eric Schmidt put mobile devices squarely at the centre of the computing universe for the future. The reality of the situation while Smartphone use is very popular for certain things such as messaging, news and social media, most smartphone users use their devices for research on what they would like to buy and actually use their laptops/desktops and tablets to complete the actual buying transactions.
One of the crucial statistics we have to consider is the “Conversion rate” by device. The definition of "conversion rate" is the percentage of users who take a desired action. The archetypal example of conversion rate is the percentage of website visitors who buy something on the site. Global conversion rates in the third quarter of 2016, looked like this: Desktop/Laptop 4.14%, Smartphone 1.55% and Tablet 3.56%
So now, taking the above into consideration it begs the question: What mobile strategy should we adopt and what are the options? Just before we look at our options it is important at this stage to consider another vital statistic: Apps account for 89% of mobile media time, with the other 11% spent on websites.
What are your options?
- Build a mobile application typically available from IOS and Android App stores
- Build a responsive website
- Create a dedicated mobile site
Each option requires different considerations:
Option 1: Building a mobile application, this requires the following considerations:
- Are your current customers in the LSM group that utilise high-spec Smartphones?
- Does a high percentage of your current ecommerce transactions come from mobile?
- Is your Brand powerful enough at this stage that users will be energised to have your Brand Icon on their home screen?
- Are there services you would like to offer your customers that would be easier to do via an app rather than a mobile website, such as loyalty programs, online chat support or emergency contact such as those offered by medical aids and Insurance companies?
- Do I have the marketing budget (this is clear and far away the most expensive option) and the resources to dedicate to the maintenance of an app?
Should the answers to all of the above be a resounding yes, Syncrony’s expert application developers and designers will create a “wow” application for your business.
Option 2: Using a responsive website/store design
- This is the most budget friendly option and something Syncrony’s Magento developers and designers do instinctively when building a Magento store, Magento’s 2x platform specifically includes features for mobile.
Option3: Creating a dedicated mobile site
- This option was utilised heavily in the early days of the mobile web, recently the only reasons to go this route is if your business would like to offer a different look and feel to Mobile users versus what the current website looks like (your current website may appeal to more mature customers and you may want different features for younger smartphone users)