Mobile Shopping Is Stalling. Can Your Retail Business Buck the Trend?

Ecommerce sales are booming, but growth in online shopping isn't translating to handheld devices. From 2016 to 2017, online retail sales grew by $56 billion, 1 but the percentage of retail sales made via mobile phone declined. 2 In fact, even though retailers have seen a rapid climb in mobile commerce over the past five years, the pace is now expected to slow down. 3

Research group Forrester attributes just 2.5% of total US retail sales to smartphone transactions. 4 It found that while 21% of US adults with a mobile phone purchased physical goods weekly via mobile in 2016, just 16% did so in 2017. 5

Indeed, when using their mobile phones to shop, consumers frequently abandon their carts without making a purchase. And recent research shows that most Americans would rather make ecommerce purchases from a desktop computer. 6

When mobile payments are painful

So why is this happening? One reason is that many shoppers encounter a painful mobile checkout process. Order forms are cumbersome and demand too many keystrokes from a small keypad. Pages load slowly and are hard to read on a small screen. And payment options via mobile are often more limited than via desktop.

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Mobile purchases averaged just 36% of retailers' total online revenue last year, down from 43% in 2016. 7 But there's still hope: by adopting a robust mobile payment solution such as Braintree -- which offers a simple, mobile-first checkout experience, friction-reducing payment methods such as PayPal and PayPal One Touch™ along with Venmo (in the US), and tools to help detect and prevent fraudulent transactions -- retailers can improve their chances of capturing mobile sales opportunities and increasing their conversion rates.

The future is still mobile

Although many retailers have been slow to adapt, there's little doubt that mobile purchasing is here to stay. In the US last year, mobile sales totaled $153 billion 8 and 65% of US adults used their mobile phones to go online every day. 9 Forrester forecasts that US mobile commerce will contribute to half of the overall online retail sales growth by 2022. 10

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In the short term, though, it will take some significant shifts to improve mobile retail sales past 20% of the $3.6 trillion retail market.11 So what can retailers do? Moving toward a payments solution that will improve the customer experience and help increase conversions is a good place to start.

And the merchants that don't offer a secure and convenient mobile experience? They risk being left behind.

Braintree We enable beautiful commerce experiences so that people and ideas can flourish. More posts by this author

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