How Smartphones are Changing the E-commerce Landscape

Smartphones rule the world. They’ve simplified many aspects of our lives, it’s honestly difficult to imagine our reality without something like GoogleMaps, for example. If you own a smartphone, you can do virtually anything on it: make appointments, gamble, and have food delivered to you on the beach. Everything is at your disposal, it’s exciting and overwhelming at the same time! 

Of the many, many things that you can do with your smartphone, one of the biggest explosions we’ve seen is online shopping. It has grown at an incredible rate in recent years and while shopping online is great from a desktop, shopping from a smartphone or tablet (also known as “m-commerce”, a branch of e-commerce) is quickly becoming an equally popular option for users all around the world. 

Computers ran so smartphones could fly

It is estimated that there are 5.22 billion mobile users around the world, and that number keeps growing! Multiply that by however many hours (too many for sure) they spend on their phones a day and you have a very exciting and enticing market at your fingertips. For now, e-commerce through desktop is still more widely used than m-commerce, but in our humble opinion, not for much longer. 

Just to give you an idea, the projection for total mobile commerce revenue generated in 2021 is set to be around $3.56 trillion. To us, that is a mind-boggling number! M-commerce is here to stay and will only keep growing as smartphone users increase daily.

The effect of m-commerce is so big that social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have adjusted to and implemented the ability to make purchases directly from their platforms, making transactions that much easier for consumers. Google, Amazon, and Apple have also hopped on the m-commerce train and provide “wallets” for users that can be set up through a smartphone and allow for easy online purchases.  

Convenience is king

How did we get here, you ask? Ordering products from a smartphone is faster and more convenient than from a desktop. It’s pretty hard to beat a device that makes it possible to order almost anything you need from anywhere you are.

Despite numbers such as the ones described above, many businesses still rely on websites designed solely for desktops. Given the huge market, not taking the time to have a mobile-optimized site is definitely costing any company money.   

Back in the day, Google found that companies whose websites were not mobile-friendly resulted in potential consumers being less incentivized to buy. Imagine now in 2021 how much more important it is to get this right! It is just simply not an option to have a website that is only optimized for desktops. Users want it and businesses need it if they want to stay competitive. 

The road to seamlessness 

Just like with anything new, many improvements still need to be made to the smartphone shopping experience. Some mobile sites can be very glitchy and not UX optimized, buttons are too small or in strange places (you have to think about the physical interaction that a user is having with your mobile site), are not responsive (meaning they do not adjust from desktop-sized screens to smartphone screen sizes well) and sometimes, there simply isn’t enough information available to the user. This leads them to question whether they are making an informed and secure purchase.

All of these factors add frustration from the user’s point of view (we can attest to this). This results in the user abandoning a mobile site altogether. A well-designed mobile site needs to take all of these factors into consideration and have a good page overview, meaning that it is easy for the user to navigate and locate the information that they are looking for seamlessly.

Despite being glitchy at times, the numbers don’t lie. More and more consumers are turning to their smartphones to make purchases, meaning that m-commerce isn’t going anywhere but up. 

If you are looking for a partner to help you design an awesome user-centric mobile website, look no further than WePropagate. We love creating beautiful and cohesive designs that continue to engage and wow users across all interfaces. If you are interested, let’s chat!