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Sheri Hebbeln
 
August 29, 2014 | eCommerce , Site Design and Management | Sheri Hebbeln

Mobile Payments on the Rise for Online Sellers

When running an online wine store, it is important that customers are able to pay however they want, wherever they want. That means establishing a site design that is specific to needs of both computer users and the owners of mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones. Creating a site that has a maximum level of accessibility will ensure that any visitors that wish to purchase a bottle of cabernet sauvignon will be able to do so, which allows you to maximize the total sales of any given situation. With mobile traffic increasing, an optimized website will benefit from the new influx of potential customers.

Computers' dominance eroding
Retail consulting firm ShopVisible recently announced their "Influence and Impact" report for the first half of 2014. In this survey, conducted on 70 businesses that perform business-to-customer and business-to-business sales as reported by PYMNTS, overall online traffic was up 9 percent in comparison to first half of 2013. Unique for this year was an influx of traffic in the month of May, whose 18 percent boost in year-on-year traffic accounted for a very balanced half, the top and bottom percentages deviating by only 4 percent. More importantly, while order volume was only up 3 percent, overall revenue was raised a significant 18 percent over the previous year, helped by a massive 42 percent gain in June. Further helping matters was a 24 percent increase in the average order value to $141. This was despite a conversion rate of 2 percent. Part of this may be due to developments in site optimization and marketing, which can greatly affect sales.

A key point to be made was the source of traffic. In ShopVisible's 2013 survey, smartphones and tablets covered 30 percent of all online ecommerce traffic, with the former contributing 20 percent of all traffic during the holiday season. At the end of the first half of 2014, that number increased with to 38 percent. Phones in particular saw their traffic go up by nearly half, to 21 percent. In essence, it is becoming increasingly obvious that online stores without some form of mobile device optimization will fall behind. Making a site with responsive design can help with this matter greatly because it adjusts to the size of the screen of the device, whether it's a personal computer or a tablet. Developing ecommerce pages with such a feature also cost far less than creating a mobile-specific site or Web app.

Of course, the PC may be losing traffic to mobile devices but it is still dominant, especially when it comes to actual sales and conversions. The same survey posted that while purchases made by smartphones went up 50 percent from 2013 in total, they still only represent 6 percent of total online sales. As a consequence, their conversion rate is 0.5 percent, in comparison to PC's 2.3 percent, while the average order value was 28 percent lower between the two. What this means is that new designs need not just to direct traffic, but also make it far easier for a mobile user to actually make a purchase, since many obstacles remain.

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