Retail sales are slowing, with 60% of sales coming from smartphones, according to eMarketer and the latest statistics from IMRG Capgemini pointing to eCommerce sales via smartphones growing by almost half year-on-year in May 2017 – betting on mobile first seems like the ‘strong and stable’ thing to do in our uncertain world.
Andy Burton, CEO of Tryzens, warns that consumer spending can be very volatile, especially in uncertain times, but that retailers must not let the recent overall dip in what are still growth rates for eCommerce wobble them.
Consumer spending can as much be impacted one way by actions like a snap General Election as it can another way by unseasonal or even prolonged weather patterns. We must recognise that sales still grew overall by 10.2% year-on-year, carried largely by mobile commerce transactions as consumers increasingly choose their smartphones over computers and tablets to buy things online.
He says: “The dramatic growth in sales via smartphones could also be even more attributed to the weather – if people are spending less time inside they’re more likely to only have their smartphone to hand when shopping online. While June is a record-breaking month for temperatures, May fared well in itself with dry spells, and if the trend continues we could well be seeing June’s sales via mobile get another significant boost.”
He adds: “Overall however, in quieter sales periods, retailers should make driving traffic to the site their priority for boosting sales. Using real-time analytics, like TradeState, to evaluate and assess eCommerce performance and KPIs can inform better and more timely business decisions to target products, special offers and upsell opportunities.
“Of course once securing a visitor to the site it is essential to maximise conversion and reduce abandoned baskets. Thinking about this on a mobile device requires a different approach to a traditional ecommerce desktop experience as you not only have the small screen space which drives a different navigation and customer journey, but you also have diferent ergonomic functions as well as additional capabilities to tap like location data and biometrics to simplify and enrich the shopping experience. Building this from the ground up and thinking about the consumers’ needs first before anything else is the most important facet of a ‘mobile first’ eCommerce strategy. Removing friction along mobile pain points such as during payment on checkout and leveraging the opportunity for innovation are key trends in this area that retailers should seek to benefit from.
he concludes: “May’s eCommerce growth rate headlines will hopefully bounce back quickly as summer arrived earlier in many parts of the UK. But the performance of mobile commerce, even during periods of low consumer confidence, should speak for itself – smartphones are the strong and stable channel of choice for increasing numbers of consumers, and retailers should make mobile a priority in the months to come.”