Mobile: not just another platform

Gone are the days when mobile was just another platform you could consider as a channel for reaching online shoppers. Current developments indicate that mobile is taking over the digital world. Consumers can now shop while lying in bed, traveling, or even walking down the street – all from their smartphones. Considering the fact that there are now more mobile devices in the world than there are humans, creating an excellent mobile shopping experience for consumers could not be more crucial for your e-commerce business.



As more and more consumers shop online using their mobile devices, the platform is fast becoming the main channel through which consumers from all over the world shop online. According to Internet Retailer’s newly published 2016 Mobile 500 report, mobile commerce currently accounts for nearly 30% of all US e-commerce sales and is growing even more rapidly in Asia, Europe, and Latin America.



In Africa, the platform is especially significant for small businesses. Mobile marketing drives sales for less money with great returns. And apart from mobile technology’s ubiquity in Africa, what’s more impressive is the rate at which it has achieved mass penetration in wealthy countries and high-growth markets, such as South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya. Through the mobile platform, small businesses are able to reach consumers by making use of inexpensive but sophisticated channels such as video to showcase their brands.



Phones are driving e-commerce as more people are gaining access to the internet – Vanguard reported that in Nigeria e-commerce transactions that were made through smartphones went up by a significant 73 percent within the first quarter of 2016 – besides the increased access to internet, Africans in rural areas may also be finding it more affordable to to purchase mobile devices compared to desktop computers.



Why you need a good mobile strategy



While marketers are recognising mobile and implementing it as part of their digital strategy, they still may not be giving it the degree of attention it deserves. They need to develop exclusive strategies attractive to smartphone browsers. Mobile commerce development has been spoken about for years, but now there’s no disputing the fact that the mobile platform has become a natural way that people shop online.



According to Rajiv Maheshwai, mobile technology leader at Neustar, the mobile platform has fantastic characteristics, including (naturally) mobility, a more personalized nature, visual and sensory interaction, location context and a rich user interface capable of audio, among other things. It is, however, often generalized to apps versus browsers and seen simply as yet another channel.



Every e-commerce business needs to have a mobile-friendly site, so as not to miss out on potential customers and site traffic. However, this is not to say that mobile is crushing desktop. The reality is simply that more and more consumers are making use of their smartphones to shop online.



Optimising your website for mobile can transform your online business. Most of your sales may be coming during office working hours when people are browsing your site on their computer. However, if your site is mobile-friendly, consumers can spend additional time outside of office hours browsing your website, increasing the likelihood of a purchase. Service providers like PayU make it easy to make your payment gateway system mobile-friendly and secure.



As marketers begin to devise well-thought-out mobile strategies that engage the high growth emerging markets, they will continue to see great levels of success.