Mobile commerce in the small business marketplace
Mobile technology is changing how consumers both search and pay for products and services. Mobile commerce in particular is growing at unprecedented rates, thanks in part to rapid consumer smartphone adoption. Small businesses that aren't investing in their mobile infrastructure, or at least mobile ecommerce, are missing out on additional revenue streams for their business.
Mcommerce is an enormous opportunity for local merchants, partly because local search is a growing component of search engines this day and age. Smartphones enable consumers to search for local retailers, restaurants and other businesses, which could very well lead to a sale in the near future. In fact, citing recent ComScore statistics, industry website Search Engine Land said 78 percent of mobile searches for local business information result in a purchase.
The primary information searched for on mobile phones was a business's address or location, with its products and services offered a close second. The type of data consumers are looking for via local search may vary on a case-by-case basis, but the rate of conversion once consumers seek out local business information is strikingly high.
Mobile commerce as a driver of sales
Local businesses that have a mobile-friendly website must optimize their network for local search. If they do not, they must invest in a mobile infrastructure, specifically mobile commerce. Customers who find a local business on their phone are likely to convert in some form, and if a small businesses mobile website is optimized for mobile device viewing, a customer is much more likely to convert as a result.
While small-business owners may have concerns regarding investing in a mobile ecommerce website, it's important to note the growth trend mcommerce among consumers today. A separate comScore study found that 55 percent of consumer respondents spent time on an online retail site on their mobile device in June 2013. Internet Retailer reported 45 percent of time spent on ecommerce sites occurred on desktops and laptops.
Consumers don't only visit a merchant's website on their down time, they also use their smartphones while they're in a brick-and-mortar location. ComScore added that in the second quarter of 2013, 57 percent of smartphone users surveyed visited a retailer's website or app while they were in that business's storefront location. Not only are consumers using their mobile devices to interact with businesses more now, they are beginning to engage and transact in more meaningful ways.