Retailers are increasingly seeking mobile-friendly ecommerce platforms as they recognise the need to optimise for smartphone and tablet users, according to new research published by Econsultancy today.
The second annual Technology for Ecommerce Report, produced in partnership with Neoworks, has found that mobile-supported ecommerce is regarded as a ‘critical’ ecommerce function by 59% of merchants, an increase of 20% since last year.
According to the survey of more than 600 ecommerce professionals, a further 39% of retailers said they regard mobile-friendly tech as ‘important’. The next most critical attributes are high-quality site search functionality, product management & merchandising’ and ‘in-built SEO capabilities’, the report has found.
But despite its importance, only a fifth of respondents rate their mobile-supported ecommerce functionality as ‘good’, with over a third (35%) rating it as ‘poor’.
Poor functionality and under-performance is causing many merchants to replatform, according to the research. Compared to last year, the proportion of companies who have already replatformed has increased by 50%, from 22% in 2014 to 33% this year.
Nigel Atkinson, Head of Consumer Engagement at Neoworks, said: “Mobile commerce has been a hot topic in the industry for over five years, with sales from mobile and tablet devices increasing significantly year on year. In the survey responses this year, companies are citing it as the most important function of an ecommerce solution. Sales on tablet and mobile devices represent a significant proportion of digital sales, with major growth of mobile sales in fashion, beauty and home wares.”
Econsultancy Research Director Linus Gregoriadis added: “It is clear that tech providers are not yet delivering consistently against their clients’ expectations for mobile-friendly solutions, even though this emerges at the most important requirement for platforms.
“This is one of the shortcomings that is leading increasing numbers of merchants to replatform. The research found that organisations are still dissatisfied with their current systems across key areas of functionality, and as their businesses grow and requirements change, they are looking for systems that can better adapt to their new demands.”
The study also finds that when asked what innovative feature they would like to add to their ecommerce systems in the absence of budgetary and technical restrictions, an overwhelming number of survey respondents mentioned personalisation.
Of the respondents who have already replatformed, almost half (43%) of them have done so in the last year, a big jump from 2014 when that figure was only 30%. Two-fifths (41%, up from 23% in 2014) of those who consider replatforming plan to start the process in the next 12 to 24 months.
Nearly half of survey respondents (44% of companies and 46% of agencies) pointed to integration with current / legacy systems as one of the three greatest tech-related challenges they face in growing their ecommerce business.