It remains certain: The mobile wave flooded e-commerce very fast. What is still uncertain is the question of how online retailers are taking this into account. An analysis.
The mobile wave flooded e-commerce
Not only «digital natives», people who have grown up in the digital world, use their mobile devices to surf the Internet. The older generations as well are increasingly using mobile devices, as the Media Use Index (MUI) in 2015 of Y&R Group Switzerland shows. Every second Swiss owns a tablet in these days and already 48 percent access the Internet via this device. With 80 percent is the Internet usage via smartphones still on the undisputed top spot. The mobile Internet revolution goes as far as experts from the e-commerce report of Switzerland 2015 called mobile Internet use growth driver number one in e-commerce. Nothing seems to stop the mobile flood. But are the online retailers prepared for this massive wave that rolls towards them?
Smartphone: the barrier
This question is legitimate. The share of sales generated on mobile devices in 2014, was for two out of three participants at more than 10 percent. One out of four achieved even more than 30 percent of their revenues via mobile devices. Despite these figures, most online retailers named mobile as their biggest challenge for the future. The two major deficits in mobile commerce are websites that are not developed for mobile use and apps that do not target on conversion. In addition, the check-out for mobile orders is mentioned as a barrier in the report. Blacksocks is a good example for putting the mobile check-out process in the center of attention: Simple login, a minimum of steps and an appearance thoroughly for touch devices. What happens next?
Several e-commerce experts predict that the next big boost of growth in e-commerce will happen thanks to mobile. The Swiss federal railways went as far as impose the doctrine of «mobile first» for their e-business. With success: In 2015 the Swiss federal railways has dethroned Ricardo from the top position of most popular online stores in Switzerland. However, it is not easy to do so as various statements from online retailers proof. Bettina Urwyler of the company Betty Bossi for example claims that mirroring web content for the mobile channel is not enough. And Erich Mühlemann of TUI Switzerland adds that the use of multiple devices leads to higher acquisition costs and therefore requires an investment in appropriate technologies. What is the solution?
In the middle of the adventure
The «user experience», the shopping adventure of customers, has to be increased. Swiss e-commerce merchants are far away from that goal. Only a few participants in the study have made adjustments to the online user experience. Most of them are at the very beginning of the development of a mobile e-commerce revolution. They are initiating projects to adjust their webshop to various end formats. One thing is certain: The m-commerce is gaining continuous importance. There is no doubt if you look at the figures of the MUI: The 14- to 29-year-old «digital natives» do use their smartphones 55 percent more than their personal computer or notebook. There is a special focus on the 55 plus «Silver Surfers» that are gaining first digital experiences and are increasingly equipped with mobile devices - their mobile usage has more than doubled since last year.