We recently conducted a survey of more than 400 e-commerce companies about their plans and activities in mobile commerce (m-commerce). The feedback was intriguing, to say the least. We found that while recent reports are pointing to significant growth in mobile subscriber numbers and an uptick in m-commerce, the majority of online retailers (80%) do not currently have a mobile commerce strategy in place. Yet, 83% of survey takers say between 1-10% of visitors come to their sites from mobile browsers and 12% cite that 11-20% get to their sites through the mobile web. As those numbers are expected to grow rapidly, we believe this represents a significant opportunity, and those of you that are preparing now for the influx of new business the mobile web represents stand to benefit.
The good news is, while many online retailers may be slow to adopt m-commerce, most recognize the opportunity and plan to address it in the near future. Fifty-six percent (56%) believe a mobile commerce strategy is very important or important to their overall business and 38% say it is important for driving sales. The majority (70%) plan to embark on an m-commerce strategy within the next two years. Only 38% believe m-commerce will be important or somewhat important to this year’s holiday campaigns, while 62% say it will not be important. It will be interesting to see the outcome this holiday season.
According to a recent post from Tim Parry of Chief Marketer, those that have yet to embark on a full-fledged m-commerce strategy may consider launching a mobile site now for research instead of focusing all of their efforts on sales. The thinking behind this is that it might help retailers determine the mobile usage patterns of their customers, so specific needs can be met as m-commerce strategies are expanded.
Other SLI m-commerce survey highlights include:
- Seventy-nine percent (79%) say site search is important to a mobile website strategy and 61% are confident site search capabilities on a mobile site will generate additional conversions.
- The top four features online retailers cite as the most important to enhancing the m-commerce experience are navigation (73%), site search (59%), product pages (54%) and product reviews (40%).
- Of companies looking to build their m-commerce sites, 31% will utilize in-house resources, 28% will outsource the work to a third party developer, 36% will use a combination of both in-house and outsourced resources and the remainder are unsure.
- Fifty-one percent (51%) of e-commerce companies do not consider the iPad to be a mobile device (they say iPad users can utilize their current website); yet 31% will direct iPad to their mobile site.
- Only 22% of e-commerce organizations have developed shopping apps for platforms including iPhone, Android, iPad and BlackBerry, while 49% are planning on creating apps, but don’t currently have one; and 29% are not planning on creating apps at all.
Thanks to all who participated in our survey. The full results will be made available on our site in the next few weeks. It will be interesting over the coming months to see how retailers respond to the growing m-commerce demand. We are already working with a number of you on adopting a successful m-commerce strategy, and look forward to helping others increase sales through the mobile web in the near future.