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Michiel Gaasterland
Michiel Gaasterland
Chief Brand Officer
Apr 24, 2013

Dutch Mobile E-Commerce Market Grows Dramatically: Web Store Owners Must Optimise For Couch Buyers

Today, Dutch e-Commerce branche association Thuiswinkel.org, announced new growth figures for the Dutch mobile e-Commerce market. The figures come from the M-Commerce Monitor for the second half of 2012, and indicate that more and more consumers are using their mobile phones and tablets to make online purchases - preferably from their own couch (“couch buyers”).

For web stores these new figures indicate that running a successful and sustainable e-Commerce store means optimising for ‘M-Commerce’ (mobile e-Commerce).  Below are our 4 most important tips that webstore owners can use to better optimise for mobile shoppers and the needs of couch buyers.

Let’s start off with some key figures from the research:

  • There was a 73% growth in mobile buyers compared to the first half of 2011
  • Total market volume was € 560 Million in 2012, which comes down to 6% of all online consumer spending
  • The expectation is that the mobile e-Commerce market in 2013 will grow to 1 billion Euros, about 10% of all online consumer spending
  • Most people use their tablet (92%) and mobile phone (67%) at home to make purchases, right from the comfort of their own couch
  • Total number of mobile orders – in the second half of 2012 – increased to 5.5 million (12% of the total number of e-Commerce orders)
  • Consumers still prefer PC over mobile to make larger purchases. The average order value for mobile was € 56 (compared to € 112 for online purchases via PC)
  • Popular product groups for mobile purchases are clothing (34%), books (24%), sports (20%), personal hygiene (17%) and computer hardware (16%).

The impact of M-Commerce on webstores

These latest growth figures for the mobile e-Commerce market are maybe not surprising, but they do emphasize the new reality: webstores that are not ready for mobile buyers will have an increasingly difficult time connecting with prospects, staying ahead of competition and growing the business. Mobile is a must. Mobile offers opportunities.

Smaller independent webstores have an important opportunity to maximise their efforts to optimise for mobile and better cater towards the needs of couch buyers.

4 vital tips for webstore owners to leverage growth of M-Commerce

1. Optimize for different screen sizes

In the “old days” you could rely on using a few screen sizes to make your web store look good. But in 2013 your website needs to be optimized for a number of different sizes of tablets and mobile phones. Check the lastest requirements with your web builder or your e-Commerce platform for responsive design, dynamic sites, and mobile URLs.

2. Keep building trust

The fact that most consumers are not yet making larger purchases via mobile devices says something about their level of trust. So make sure you keep focusing on building trust, especially towards mobile buyers. Cleary communicate your secure payment options, and don’t hide your terms & conditions.

Needless to say, raise your level of customer service! Make sure your mobile buyers can clearly see that you are available to answer questions and solve problems. The ROBIN customer service app for web stores does this for you in an optimal way (of course ;-)). (oh, and because ROBIN also has native iPhone and iPad apps available, you can answer your couch buyers directly from your own couch as well!).

3. Make it easy. No, no. More easy than that!

Webstore owners are already used to making their site easy to use. For mobile this becomes even more important. You don’t want consumers to have to fiddle around on their small screens and key pads before they can make a purchase. So, for instance, make sure your store has ‘one touch add to cart buttons’. In addition, go over your check-out process to eliminate any unnecessary steps. Also, make sure your search box is clearly visible on every page.

But that’s not the end of the rabbit hole for mobile optimization. You have even more opportunities to make mobile shopping and buying easier for couch buyers. For instance, think about disabling auto-correct to reduce typos in form fields. And make sure the right keyboard pops up when filling in a name (letters) or credit card (numbers). For more details, check out this great post: Mobile Commerce Optimization Tips for Touch Keyboards.

4. A picture tells more than a thousand words

In a physical store, consumers can touch, hold or try on a pair of boots or jeans. This is not possible online (yet :p). Showing attractive product pictures enables a much better shopping experience. This is especially important for mobile because users don’t want to scroll through loads of text on their mobile phone.

In addition, working with nice product pictures allows you to leverage one of the most important online trends: the rise of the visual web. Sites and apps such as Tumblr, Instagram and of course Pinterest have boosted the importance of visuals for the web. Especially Pinterest. It now has more than half a billion (!) users. The site sends more traffic refferals to e-Commerce sites than Facebook! All couch surfing buyers! ;-)

A nice infographic for desert

The research - the M-Commerce Monitor – is done by Blauw Research and is commissioned by Thuiswinkel.org – the branche association that represents more than 1800 web stores in The Netherlands. Thanks for producing this infographic guys!

Voor een hoge kwaliteit PDF download van deze infographic, ga naar: http://www.thuiswinkel.org/infographic-m-commerce-monitor-2012

Instagram, M-Commerce, Mobile, News, Pinterest, Tumblr

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