Why are retailers still not ready for mobile?
With 20% of all e-commerce traffic now coming from mobile in the UK it could be expected that most retailers are taking m-commerce seriously and providing their customers with an optimised mobile channel, but this is not the case according to the 'UK Retailer Mobile Optimisation' report from digital in-store technology firm Skava.
The report found that, despite the ongoing surge in mobile traffic, one quarter of the top 100 UK retailers have yet to optimise their e-commerce websites for mobile devices. Although, this is a 26% increase on the 50% of UK retailers who had optimised for mobile by March 2013, UK retailers still lag behind the US, where 100% of the top US retailers have already optimised the channel.
According to eMarketer's latest forecasts, worldwide business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce sales will increase by 20.1% in 2014, reaching US$1.5 trillion. In the US, 12% of overall e-commerce revenue is now made up of m-commerce sales. In 2013, UK retailer Argos received £400 million in m-commerce sales, accounting for 10% of the company's overall online sales. However, on average, the top 20 UK retailers saw only 5% of their revenue coming from m-commerce, according to the 2013 Internet Retailer Global Mobile 500 report.
"In Europe, some retailers are still arguing about the importance of mobile as a significant source of revenue. The increase in e-commerce revenue overall is masking the loss of revenue through poorly converting mobile websites," warned Arish Ali, Skava's CEO and co-founder. "Simply creating a mobile website is no longer efficient, but retailers must build mobile optimized websites with a conversion-first approach."
The report also warned that the launch of a mobile website is not the end of a retailer's mobile strategy; rather it is the very beginning. Like e-commerce websites before them, mobile sites and apps require constant updates based on analysis of user behaviours to create a completely seamless shopping experience for the customer.
"Mobile is the fastest growing sector of e-commerce, yet this data suggests that retailers have still to adapt to the changing landscape," concluded Paul Morrison, UK manager for Skava. "M-commerce has increased 78% over the past year and those innovative retailers which have moved beyond their first-generation 'scraped static site' to a conversion-driven mobile design are reaping the rewards."