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Research indicates mobile sites are vital for business

The majority (89 per cent) of retailers believe mobile phone sites and transactions are an essential part of their future business strategy, research from mCommerce has found.

Despite the claim, more than three quarters of SMEs do not have a mobile site, with many citing security concerns and lengthy optimisation process - the process of making your site highly visible to search engines - as barriers to getting mobile.

With 28 million smartphones currently in use in the UK - an increase of 38 per cent on the year- and Google estimating that 15 per cent of online traffic comes through mobile sites, Small Businesses.com said that not being online via mobile is equivalent to shutting your online store for a day every week.

It also found that almost four in five businesses (79 per cent) had bad experiences trying to access non mobile optimised sites from their device.

Research elsewhere found that although social media plays an important role in marketing strategy for retailers, it generates less than one per cent of online sales.

Instead, retail traffic from email marketing campaigns and direct traffic from the site's URL both accounted for 30 per cent of repeat customer transactions.

The report by Forrester which analysed some 77,000 online orders made over a period of two weeks in April, found that more than a third (39 per cent) of online sales by new customers came via paid or organic search engine results.

According to Forrester, although shoppers admitted that social media posts are a great way to discover new products, brands, trends and retailers, less than one per cent of transactions originated from social media sites.

However, Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru pointed out that although shoppers may be unwilling to purchase via online mobile sites, businesses should not rule out its use for effective marketing and generating business.

"In spite of changes to the interactive marketing landscape and the growing number of shoppers using mobile and tablet devices to access content, core elements of web marketing continue to be effective," she said.