Mobile and social media are going to be the biggest drivers of e-commerce in 2015 if you extrapolate how they performed not just in the Christmas period, but also across the whole of 2014, suggests analysis by personalization company Monetate.
Cyber Week 2014 – the holiday shopping season comprising Black Friday through Cyber Monday – saw mobile truly take off, with mobile purchases increasing 45% over 2013, according to the company’s figures. But mobile’s shining moments weren’t confined to the holiday season. In Q2 of 2014, mobile traffic skyrocketed to 16% of all e-commerce traffic, according to Monetate’s Ecommerce Quarterly report (EQ2 2014).
These figures indicate that 2015 will be the year mobile emerges as a legitimate purchasing channel – creating real business results for retailers.
“Mobile experiences are improving, thanks to advances like in-store and online activation with beacons, disruptive standalone apps and new mobile checkout solutions like Apple Pay and PayPal Mobile Express,” explains Lucinda Duncalfe, CEO, Monetate. “Consumers embraced these technologies during the 2014 holiday shopping season, proving that mobile is becoming a key revenue driver . Customers are increasingly expecting one-click ‘Amazon-like’ payment experiences and super-personalised mobile sites, and we anticipate seeing brands make this a priority this year.”
And businesses must embrace mobile with a specialised approach, she says. Compared to desktop visits, bounce rates on mobile are 50% higher and add-to-cart rates are 30% lower. More personalised, frictionless mobile experiences will yield even bigger business results and turn mobile browsers into mobile buyers.
“Mobile is gaining a larger piece of the ecommerce pie, which presents marketers with a huge opportunity. The first step is to look at what mobile visitors want to do and enable them to do it easily and efficiently,” adds Duncalfe. “The key to mobile commerce strategy is creating utility and value for the customer where they are. Their needs are generally different when they’re on mobile than on a desktop.”
The report also suggests that social is going to become a place where brands can actually sell. There are more than 2 billion active social media now and brands use social media to showcase and introduce new products, build loyalty, and make merchandising decisions.
According to a Nielsen study, 84% of consumers are directly influenced by what their social network says about a product. Facebook and Twitter recently debuted “buy” buttons that allow in-feed sales, so brands can instantaneously direct consumers right to the checkout page – and boost business results in the process.
“Social is now an integral ecommerce driver. Consumers are relying on their networks for pre-purchase research,” says Duncalfe. “We anticipate merchants focusing on leading consumers from the discovery phase to a purchase by adding ‘selling’ to the list of offerings on social channels.”