Consumers move online shopping to portable devices
August 12, 2013

Being able to accept credit card payments online is more important for small and medium-sized businesses than ever before. With more consumers researching and purchasing products on the Web, investing in electronic payment systems is critical for SMBs to stay competitive and drive sales. Yet customers aren't waiting to go home to shop online anymore; a recent study found consumers are buying goods more often through a mobile phone than on a desktop. SMBs should think about optimizing their website for mobile visitors to make it easier for customers to purchase items online. 

Shoppers making mobile purchasing a habit
According to a survey from mobile ad networking Millennial Media and comScore, e-commerce on portable devices has eclipsed online shopping on desktops. The poll asked approximately 32,000 mobile users and 7,000 tablet owners in March about their online shopping habits, finding desktop shares of the e-commerce market have dropped 84 percent since 2010 because of the increasing use of e-mobile commerce. In fact, 51 percent of e-commerce took place on mobile devices, with only 49 percent happening on desktops.

However, customers are still using their PCs when shopping online; the survey found 45 percent of consumers begin their online shopping on desktops and then move to on-the-go gadgets. 

Mobile shopping continues to be where the virtual retail marketplace is heading. Smartphones and tablets allow consumers to look up retailer information while they are out and research products while in a store. According to the survey, 58 percent of consumers use their portable device to scan item barcodes while they are shopping at brick-and-mortar stores and 44 percent use their smartphone to find digital coupons before they head to the checkout. 

The report showcased the growing need for SMBs to invest in electronic payment systems and website optimization for mobile viewing. 

According to Media Post, a digital news site, the report authors said retailers should focus on providing consumers with various website options, such as the ability to purchase products with plastic online, while also maximizing mobile marketing strategies.

With more customers reaching for their smartphone or tablet to research and buy products through a retailer's virtual store, it is important for SMBs to take advantage of this growing trend. Consumers continue to seek purchasing convenience, and SMBs should invest in credit card processing that gives customers numerous payment options. 

Nexus: G-WEBCD3