Mobile-First, Desktop Second? The Development of eCommerce

You’ve probably noticed it yourself: smartphones have become an increasingly critical component of our day-to-day lives. This growing use of our mobile devices has made consumers far more comfortable and confident to use their phones on the go for multiple reasons. One of those reasons, online shopping, is now having its effect on how websites are designed.

Mobile-First

Internet use on mobile devices surpassed desktop usage for the first time in October 2016. Since then, the trend of mobile usage surges forward. This not only means that consumers are using the Internet in a different way but also indicates that the web has to change. Companies that operate on the Internet to sell products need to embrace a mobile-first design.

Why Go Mobile?

You probably have a great website in place and going mobile-first will cost a lot of time and effort. So why make the change?

If you are a part of the eCommerce industry, you can no longer ignore this consumer shift to the handheld device. In 2016, mobile commerce revenue was already $170 billion. Experts predict that mCommerce will make up about 45 percent of all eCommerce activities in the next two years.

Since more consumers are turning to their mobile phone to shop online, you need to create a positive experience for their phone to convert sales. By offering them a mobile-first website you can ensure that your store’s visitors enjoy and appreciate your page as they browse through it.

And positive consumers it not all you can gain. Google recently indicated that the search engine prefers to index mobile-first websites. These sites receive a higher ranking in Google’s search results. In an industry that is as competitive as eCommerce, appearing higher in rankings can really benefit your sales. In addition, offering a website that is mobile-optimized will lead to more mobile shoppers and in turn to more in-depth customer insights. You can use mobile customers to create a richer, more contextual view of your visitors and offer them a personalized page. This personalization, in turn, can be used to drive conversion and create a hassle-free checkout process to encourage more mobile shopping.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Speed It Up

Before you tell your developers to turn your site mobile, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Simply providing visitors with a mobile-first website will not be enough. Users expect a smooth and seamless process when they visit your page. You need to make sure that your site is optimized in such a way that mobile users can easily browse, shop, and pay without having to switch to desktop. This includes making your website fast enough to browse at a comfortable speed. If you don’t there will be consequences: 79 percent of customers who report dissatisfaction with website performance are less likely to buy from that same site again.

Once you’ve created a mobile-first page you can also expand your marketing efforts. Many social media platforms now offer store owners the opportunity to advertise on their platform. For example: Instagram Shopping and Facebook Shops. If you connect your mobile first website to these social media channels, those who are interested can buy your products from a social ad in just a few clicks. It makes the shopping process easier for the customer and will drive more sales for the eCommerce site owner.

Don’t Stay Behind

The shift from desktop websites to a mobile-first version is not just an expected trend: we also see it in our data. At the moment, 81 percent of all online stores already have a mobile version. This is a 13 percent increase compared to last year when just under 69 percent of all eCommerce websites used mobile-first.

When we look at smaller online stores versus large online stores, there is a slight difference. Those eCommerce sites with an Economic Footprint under 60 have a mobile first website 80 percent of the time, whereas larger eCommerce websites use the mobile-first approach in 90 percent of all sites found. These numbers are quite high, but there is still some ground to be gained for both groups.

The valuable connection to social media is mostly made by larger online stores. Of the websites with an Economic Footprint higher than 60, social media use is:

1. Facebook (83 percent)
2. Twitter (67 percent)
3. Instagram 56 percent)

This is considerably higher than social media use among smaller online stores, which is:

1. Facebook (47 percent)
2. Instagram (26 percent)
3. Twitter (24 percent)

There are, of course, many more small online stores than there are large eCommerce websites. And smaller sites often have a smaller team working on them, sometimes just one person, which can explain the large difference in available social media profiles. Still, there is a big opportunity for small eCommerce sites to grow their influence online and market their products to their audience.

More information

Would you like more information on development of eCommerce websites? Or other data about online stores? You can contact us via info@dataprovider.com with your questions.

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