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Why you need to invest in Online Mobile Shopping

Did you know nearly half (49%) of of online shoppers in Qatar use a mobile device to make an online purchase rather than a desktop or laptop computer?

SMEs are often unable to invest in developing eCommerce across multiple platforms at once. Doing so is time consuming, expensive and and complex. However there is a strong case to be made for eMerchants prioritizing the development of mobile shopping-friendly channels such as mobile optimized websites or apps.

Here we evaluate the benefits – and drawbacks – of a ‘mobile first’ approach to eCommerce.

Benefits

01

24/7 Access

People carry their mobile phones with them at all times, increasing the potential for online shopping. Consumers also have an emotional relationship with their mobile phones, making them more susceptible to making online purchases through their device.

02

Connecting with People

The younger generation who uses smart phones is usually more receptive to online advertising and marketing, leading to a bigger number of potential sales. eMerchants can also link users to their mobile websites or apps through social media platforms. This allows online shoppers to make a direct purchase of an item they have seen through the merchant’s account or other pages such as an influencer’s page.

03

Ease of Use

Users also often use their mobile phones to research prospective purchases or to compare certain products before buying the product, which makes it important to have a smooth mobile compatible website or app to ensure the eMerchant does not lose potential shoppers. Users will often revisit a mobile compatible website if they find it easy to navigate through and find that the page loads quickly, an important factor eMerchants should take into consideration as many users rely on mobile data and not Wifi.

04

Efficient Payments

Online shoppers have also become more prone to using their phones to make purchases thanks to new technologies, such a face recognition and fingerprint. Once a user has made the authorization to pay through a scan or online transaction it makes the purchasing process very quick and easy; the same goes for shoppers who have enabled payments through their Apple wallet or other widely used payment gateways.

05

Push Notifications

Unlike desktop shops, mobile applications can send push notifications to users encouraging them to make purchases. It is also common for users to be more prone to sharing their location when using their mobile phones, allowing eMerchants who adhere to the correct guidelines to collect more data about their customers.

Benefits

01

24/7 Access

People carry their mobile phones with them at all times, increasing the potential for online shopping. Consumers also have an emotional relationship with their mobile phones, making them more susceptible to making online purchases through their device.

02

Connecting with People

The younger generation who uses smart phones is usually more receptive to online advertising and marketing, leading to a bigger number of potential sales. eMerchants can also link users to their mobile websites or apps through social media platforms. This allows online shoppers to make a direct purchase of an item they have seen through the merchant’s account or other pages such as an influencer’s page.

03

Ease of Use

Users also often use their mobile phones to research prospective purchases or to compare certain products before buying the product, which makes it important to have a smooth mobile compatible website or app to ensure the eMerchant does not lose potential shoppers. Users will often revisit a mobile compatible website if they find it easy to navigate through and find that the page loads quickly, an important factor eMerchants should take into consideration as many users rely on mobile data and not Wifi.

04

Efficient Payments

Online shoppers have also become more prone to using their phones to make purchases thanks to new technologies, such a face recognition and fingerprint. Once a user has made the authorization to pay through a scan or online transaction it makes the purchasing process very quick and easy; the same goes for shoppers who have enabled payments through their Apple wallet or other widely used payment gateways.

05

Push Notifications

Unlike desktop shops, mobile applications can send push notifications to users encouraging them to make purchases. It is also common for users to be more prone to sharing their location when using their mobile phones, allowing eMerchants who adhere to the correct guidelines to collect more data about their customers.

Disadvantages

01

Desktop Doubters

Some users may feel that shopping online on their mobile phones may be lead to impulsive an impulsive decision or buyer’s regret and would rather take their time on a desktop to do better research before making a purchase.

02

Speed & Security

Some mobile users are less patient with slow loading pages or may have the perception that data is less secure through mobile than desktop (a widely held misconception that is completely incorrect). eMerchants who have mobile website should invest in the speed of page loading and communicate clearly and often that their mobile website or app is 100% secure.

03

Small Screens

eMerchants who sell high-value products may not prefer mobile platforms due to the reduced quality and size of the images displayed on a smaller screen. This is another reason users may prefer a more customized experience through their desktop websites. Another reason merchants might shy away from mobile websites is the reduced number of options a user can see at a time – again due to the size of the screen.

04

Extra Effort

A last aspect merchants should keep in mind if they want to develop an application for their online shop is the extra effort required from eShoppers to download a mobile application. This may lead to unwanted clutter and loss of memory space on their device. However, eMerchants promoting app-based sales could offer incentives for consumers to download their shopping app.

Disadvantages

01

Desktop Doubters

Some users may feel that shopping online on their mobile phones may be lead to impulsive an impulsive decision or buyer’s regret and would rather take their time on a desktop to do better research before making a purchase.

02

Speed & Security

Some mobile users are less patient with slow loading pages or may have the perception that data is less secure through mobile than desktop (a widely held misconception that is completely incorrect). eMerchants who have mobile website should invest in the speed of page loading and communicate clearly and often that their mobile website or app is 100% secure.

03

Small Screens

eMerchants who sell high-value products may not prefer mobile platforms due to the reduced quality and size of the images displayed on a smaller screen. This is another reason users may prefer a more customized experience through their desktop websites. Another reason merchants might shy away from mobile websites is the reduced number of options a user can see at a time – again due to the size of the screen.

04

Extra Effort

A last aspect merchants should keep in mind if they want to develop an application for their online shop is the extra effort required from eShoppers to download a mobile application. This may lead to unwanted clutter and loss of memory space on their device. However, eMerchants promoting app-based sales could offer incentives for consumers to download their shopping app.

To go Mobile
or Not?

Although online shopping on desktop computers may still have a higher turnover rate, eMerchants can potentially lose customers and sales due to a poorly performing website on mobile. It is therefore important for online merchants to seriously consider developing a mobile version of their online shop to cater to the needs of the modern, tech-savvy consumer.

“The retailer rule of thumb is, sites are for customer acquisition, and apps are for customer retention.” – Forbes, Nikki Baird, vice president of retail innovation at Aptos.

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