Online Shopping Trends 2015: the Rise of Mobile Shopping

183 million smartphones are currently in circulation across Europe. It is unsurprising then that people are increasingly taking the opportunity to use their devices to browse and ultimately purchase goods online at times and in places that suit them. Brits are a nation of smartphone lovers, with 55% of us owning one. With this in mind, it may surprise you that there are still many e-commerce sites that haven’t optimised their site to take advantage of the rise of mobile shopping.

What is a Mobile-Friendly Website?
Contrary to popular belief, mobile sites are not simply scaled-down versions of the desktop site. They are designed from the ground up with mobile in mind and have a specific layout and even a different URL. Mobile websites tend to include:

  • Reduced screen size for more precise ‘finger tapping’
  • Collapsible widgets and sidebars for easier navigation
  • Minimal advertising and marketing messages
  • Relevant and necessary content takes priority
  • Reduced use of hyper-text to cope with touchscreen interaction from users
  • QR code capabilities

Benefits of a Mobile-Friendly Site
In 2010 less than 1% of online retail sales were made via mobile devices (smartphone or tablet). In 2014, 37% of UK online sales came from these handsets, which represents growth of 4,000% over the past four years. Convinced yet? Maybe these figures from IMRG’s recent e-commerce benchmark survey and another mobile-friendly study will encourage you to put some thought into mobile in the year ahead.

  • 50% of traffic to retail websites came from smartphone and tablets between August and October
  • £9.3bn was the total estimated mobile spend during this time
  • Mobile spend has increased to £8bn in 2014 from £5bn in 2013
  • Desktop spend has decreased to £34bn in 2014 from £37bn in 2013
  • Bounce rates for websites that are not mobile-friendly are often between 85–90%
  • 50% of local searches are carried out on mobile devices
  • 86% of mobile internet users are using their devices while watching TV

Results from the study suggested that only between 2–10% of all mobile-friendly sites have been developed for the user, making the rest extremely difficult to navigate. A great way to think of your mobile site is as a retail outlet in your customers’ pocket, so make your site as user-friendly as possible to maximise selling opportunities.