A report which sought the views retailers has highlighted that SME retailers are being left behind when it comes to incorporating mobile commerce as part of their customer offering.
Onepoll undertook the study on behalf of MoPowered in which 89% of SME retailers cited mCommerce as essential for capturing new business. The merchants surveyed also believed that mCommerce sales would grow by a third within the next 5 years.
Despite this recognition of the importance of mCommerce, only 24% of these retailers actually had a site that is compatible for mCommerce at the time of the survey. The main reasons cited for not going mobile were perceived as high costs, lack of resource and concerns about security.
Dominic Keen, chief executive of MoPowered, an mCommerce solution aimed at the smaller retail sector, says: "The retailers that we spoke to are right in thinking that mobile commerce is essential for their growth. We have created a mobile commerce platform to enable SME's to quickly, easily and cost effectively integrate onto the channel. Research from Google shows that 15% of all online traffic is now coming through mobile. This means that not having a mobile optimised site is equivalent to shutting your online store for one day every week."
Commenting on security concerns around mobile Phillip McGriskin, Chief Product Officer at WorldPay says, "Retailers should choose an mCommerce provider that takes security seriously and puts security at the heart of everything they do. Customers should experience the same high levels of security through the mobile channel as through e-commerce, as payments systems should be fully compatible with payment card industry standards."
By using a complete mCommerce package, such as MoPowered, retailers only need to engage with one supplier to get a complete mCommerce solution encompassing site creation through to secure, fully transactional mobile checkouts. This makes integration much easier, allowing retailers to capitalise on their mobile traffic in a matter of weeks rather than having to wait for months and incur considerable expense for a custom-developed solution.
The study also found that 27% of those questioned had abandoned transactions when shopping via mobile on a non-mobile optimised site. Additionally 79% said they had found shopping via mobile to be slow and difficult to navigate.
Keen further comments: "It is important that retailers get their mobile offering right. Retailers that don't have a mobile site are losing out on transactions as browsers are not being converted into sales due to difficulty in navigating non-mobile optimised sites."
Talking about the importance of integrating onto the channel Clare Rayner, independent retail expert says: "SME retailers need to take every opportunity possible to ensure that they continue to be part of our retail landscape. When you look at consumer choice via mobile the landscape is dominated by enterprise level retailers. Shopping is becoming more and more about multi-channel accessibility and it is therefore essential that independent retailers embrace the opportunity offered by mobile commerce."
One SME retailer that has integrated onto the mobile channel is The Tickle Company, a high quality greetings card specialist. Darren Tickle, founder of the company wanted to take advantage of the commercial opportunities that the mobile commerce channel offered but didn't believe his company had the time, budget or expertise to do so.
Tickle comments, "Given the rapid adoption of smartphones, we knew we faced a massive opportunity lost by not having a mobile solution, but we didn't know where to start in developing one and believed the cost of entry to be a major barrier. MoPowered has enabled us to gain access to a whole new and exciting channel as easily as flipping a switch. It's the kind of easy and effective solution that I need as a small business owner."
The online and mobile polling firm OnePoll conducted the survey "mCommerce in the SME retailer market" on behalf of MoPowered. 300 higher managerial professionals from within SME retailers were surveyed for this research.