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Retailers losing out on £4bn in revenue due to poor m-site design, suggests study

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Poor mobile app and mobile website design – including a lack of ‘thumb friendliness’ could be costing retailers £4billion in revenues as smartphone users making early forays into m-retail are put off their sites and head for better designed competitor sites.

According to a report by website optimisation company QuBit, poor performance in areas such as ease of use, redirection from desktop to mobile versions and load speed are costing individual retailers as much as 12% in annual revenues.

Such “basic errors” could be remedied with “minimum investment”, according to the report. 

Graham Cooke, CEO of QuBit, said, “Losing that amount of money means that it’s something that they should put high up in their priorities.”

Currently, just 4.8% of retailers have websites optimised for the mobile web, despite the percentage of retail website traffic coming from mobile devices has tripling year on year to 15% in 2011. The survey also found that tablets are a major driver of mobile commerce growth, generating 25% more page views than desktop users and, for those who go on to purchase, a 22% greater average order value.

However, the greater order value could be skewed because, at present, the majority of tablet owners are from wealthier demographics. QuBit’s study also found that while visitors to retail websites from desktops are more likely to purchase (1% convert), tablet users are only marginally less likely to convert, at 0.87%. Meanwhile, only 0.2% visitors to retail sites from smartphone devices actually convert.

However, the good news is this trend is changing, says Gabriel Hopkins, Head of eCommerce Products, WorldPay. As a global payment processor, WorldPay predicts that mCommerce is set to hit the mainstream next year. Recent research conducted by WorldPay at the recent Internet Retailing Conference in London, reveals that at present, only 29% of businesses currently offer m-commerce solutions for customer payments but 80% revealed plans to add mobile offerings in the next 24 months, and a further 14% of respondents indicated they were likely to roll out this channel in 3-4 years.

Merchants are looking at ways to optimise their websites to create mobile versions, which include payment pages, or develop specific Apps that have payment pages embedded. Until now, as this research states, mobile Apps have simply re-routed consumers to a website to pay but this will set to become integrated as the technology develops to support the payment process. It is expected that, as mobile becomes increasingly dominant in its own right – developing beyond simple eCommerce – that the current consumer demand for mobile transactions will be greeted with more capable processing platforms.

“The UK mobile payments market is expected to be worth £2.5bn by 2016, which is a massively lucrative opportunity for British retailers,” Hopkins says. “Yet, what we also know from WorldPay research is that usability presents a significant barrier for consumers looking to make the switch from eCommerce to mCommerce. 39% of smartphone shoppers are currently frustrated by the overall length of the process when buying via their mobile, while 38% feel irritated by the amount of information they need to provide when purchasing on their mobile. As mobile transactions are all about convenience, we are working with retailers to provide the simplest possible route to payment. The result, which we fully expect to see more of in 2012, will be an increase of mobile shopping, and ultimately, revenue.”

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