Go mobile or don’t go at all.
That’s the key takeaway from a white paper on mobile media trends released Tuesday by HookLogic, an e-commerce marketing firm. The company, which develops marketing solutions for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp. and L’Oréal, among others, said e-commerce sales involving mobile devices jumped 10 percent in the first quarter.
In a separate report from MarketLive last month, smartphone visits to e-commerce sites climbed 269 percent during the first quarter. The increase is bolstered by steady gains in e-commerce sales. Research firm Emarketer is forecasting e-commerce retail sales to reach $18.8 billion by the end of this year — a 7 percent gain over 2014. And due to the “magnitude of growth” in smartphones, retailers need to dramatically shift online strategies, the authors of the HookLogic report said.
“With the growth of mobile penetration has come mobile ubiquity,” the authors noted. “Consumers are now accessing their smartphones any and everywhere, at every time of day. This has major implications for marketers in their targeting efforts.” The report noted that 40 percent of consumers “now say mobile is the most important media for their purchase decision.” In the first quarter of this year, the company said purchases involving mobile devices accounted for 29 percent of all e-commerce transactions.
Moreover, consumers are spending more time researching products on smartphones. But there are challenges as conversion rates for the mobile user are lower than desktops.
“Searching on a mobile device is different than searching on a desktop or laptop,” the authors said. “Consumers have different mindsets, needs and desires — all leading to different actions. Consumers using mobile devices can click and swipe in just milliseconds. They review, evaluate, consider and accept or reject within moments.”
For those consumers who search, research and then convert to a purchase, apparel and accessories as a category does better than other retail market sectors, according to an earlier research report from HookLogic.
Meanwhile, the smartphone segment is pegged to grow 15 percent to over 770 million units — globally — by the end of this year, according to recent reports.