With such powerful smartphone technology available, it’s not hard to imagine why Brits spend on average eight hours and 41 minutes a day surfing on mobile devices – more than the average amount of sleep they’re getting, according to the BBC.
So now that more of us are using mobile for online shopping, is mobile eCommerce making shopping on a desktop PC obsolete?
In the red corner: mobile
On the one hand, yes. Over in the USA, mobile edged past desktop as the shopping device of choice over the Thanksgiving holiday season. Mobile accounted for 57% of all traffic, and with a 15% rise on the year before, could keep going.
In the blue corner: desktop
On the other hand, it doesn’t necessarily translate into actual sales. Andy Wong, a partner at digital consultancy Kurt Salmon Digital, explains that mobiles are somewhat ‘slower’ to keep up with the growing pace of consumers wanting to make impulsive shopping decisions. The technological speed of processing a transaction via mobile has proven over time to be a great hassle for online retailers.
As Andrew Mavraganis, co-owner of action sports eCommerce site StoreYourBoard.com explained to Entrepreneur.com: “It often takes too long and is too cumbersome for consumers to fill out their payment information and shipping address on a mobile phone.” He adds: “For sites like ours, where customers aren’t necessarily repeat customers with accounts and saved information, this can be a big deterrent to mobile eCommerce.”
Where mobile is punching above its weight
However, brands such as Amazon and Apple have made it easier for the large percentage of repeat customers to save their billing information online, making purchases on their mobile swifter and easier than other retail players. Who will follow in their footsteps?
Why desktop is still the heavyweight
It’s worth noting that although mobile is obviously very convenient as a device on the go, such as accessing personal emails, reading reviews, browsing through social media and visiting websites, desktop still has the edge when it comes to the ‘nitty gritty’ of sales transactions and interactive customer correspondence.
As eMarketer.com said in early 2015, the data on smartphone usage indicates just that, saying that “users [are] more likely to close the deal in person or on a [desktop]”. That said, tablets are closer to desktops in the way that they’re used than mobiles.
Focusing on multi-channels of eCommerce and marketing remains key, and going ‘mobile first’ should be at the forefront of site design, but one thing is clear: desktop eCommerce and interaction is here to stay!