Applying the surfing analogy to eCommerce
Surfing is very often regarded as an extreme sport primarily because of the sheer power of the ocean that it harnesses. Waves gather a raw tidal energy as they surge towards the shore and this propels the skilled surfers along at exhilarating speeds, often raising them up to intimidating heights.
However, the possibility always remains where they lose control over this harnessed power that results in deadly consequences. What was once their source of success truns out to be their source of failure.
The growing market of mobile devices is of as much importance to an eCommerce company as a gigantic wave is to a surfer. If you can harness its power, it will increase your revenue and conversions. On the other hand, a failure to do so will leave you floundering and swamped while your competitors surge ahead into the horizon.
Mobile device and the eCommerce market
The power of the mobile device market is clearly defined by its rapid expansion. The year 2014 is only eight months old and already 70 tablets and five times the number of smartphones have been introduced in the market. Taking into account the fact that there are many user who continue to make use of older models, it is an indication that the device market is continuing to grow in bulk, absorbing newer models while the older ones continue to thrive.
The proliferation of operating systems and browsers is another major contributing factor to the substantial growth of the market. As is the case with smartphones, frequent releases of new OS and browser versions don’t mean that users will ignore the older ones. Recent statistics have revealed that many users continue to work with IE 6,7, or 8 and older versions of Firefox although many upgrades have been made available in the market.
Why is this the right time for eCommerce to ride the mobile industry wave?
Why is it that this growth in the mobile industry signals an opportunity for eCommerce to be hugely successful? It is because the accompanied increase in the number of consumers buying on tablets and smartphones has been equally significant. Industry estimates suggest that for the year 2014, mobile shopping is likely to account for around 17.6% of retail sales in the world. That is a year-on-year increase of as much as 62%. Sales via tablets will increase by as much as 100% while smartphones will contribute a 44% increase in eCommerce.
It is up to you to ensure that your apps and sites work perfectly on every device that your potential customers make use of. By doing so, you will be able to significantly increase your potential sales across a platform that is fast turning into the preferred channel of shopping for customers. Simply put, it is time for you to ride the mobile device wave to usher in an increased conversion rate along with higher revenues.
After the crest comes the trough
However, a failure to do so will leave you at a risk of being overwhelmed by the number of customers who fail to buy from your site, thus giving your competitors an opportunity to leave you treading water. If a customer finds that he is unable to make a purchase from your site through their mobile device, possibly due to a broken shopping cart among other factors, not only do you end up losing that sale but also a potential customer for the future. Statistics have found that as many as 79% of online shoppers who are disappointed with their experience on a website are less likely to return again for another purchase.
As you read this, the mobile device wave continues to gather momentum and surge forward towards the eCommerce companies. So are you going to start paddling towards it and catch it at the right point, or will you leave it for a moment where the momentum wears off considerably and prevents a significant impact? The choice is entirely in your hands!