If you are an online merchant, you are probably busy dressing up your website to lure more shoppers to your site this holiday season.
While a selection of good merchandise--be it goods or services-- is important, have you made sure that your website is mobile ready? Do you think shoppers can buy from your website easily irrespective of whether they are using a PC or a mobile device? If not, it's time to start planning for a better holiday shopping experience.
While ecommerce sales during the holiday season reached record levels last year, the sales this year are expected to surpass last year by almost 15 percent. eMarketer projects that U.S. retail ecommerce sales for the holiday season are expected to reach $61.8 billion, up from $53.7 billion last year. While these numbers are no surprise, they do validate that more consumers are choosing to shop online. The difference however is that up until now, consumers preferred to shop online using their PCs or laptops. With the proliferation of mobile devices though, mobile commerce accounts for a large chunk of ecommerce sales today.
eMarketer predicts retail m-commerce or ecommerce purchases made on mobile devices will reach $41.68 billion this year and by 2017, retail sales made on mobile devices will climb to well over $100 billion. And while m-commerce has taken off, the truth is that many online businesses will gradually lose ground to big retailers like Amazon and Walmart unless they figure out a way to level the playing field with consumers. These giants could end up as the biggest beneficiaries due primarily to their technology prowess and infrastructure agility.
One of the biggest challenges for an ecommerce vendor is conversion of visitors to buyers. If you are a big company like Amazon or Starbucks, you can put a purchase button on every page to capture the sale instantly. Sounds simple, right? In fact, it's not a simple problem for website designers using standard ecommerce or mobile platforms. A purchase button requires custom integration of the ecommerce, marketing and payments platforms. As a result, on many websites, especially those of smaller merchants, you can't start the buying process on every page. Predictably, sales drop off with each additional click. The buying process gets even more cumbersome for a consumer trying to purchase on a mobile phone or tablet as filling out personal information on these devices can be cumbersome. Additionally, not all websites are optimized for mobile purchases, leading to frustrated shoppers who abandon the sale in mid-process.
Adding one-click payment or a "Buy Now" button on your website dramatically increases conversions to revenue. Also known as one-click buying, this method of paying is gaining traction as consumers' demand for simple, seamless mobile transactions grows. Recently, Facebook introduced mobile payment processing with a platform that allows users to make payments without inputting billing credentials to satisfy the consumer demand for simple payments options when purchasing online or through mobile devices.
Games developer Disruptor Beam recently launched their Game of Thrones Ascent, based on the very popular show on HBO, with seamless, one-click payments in the course of their multiplayer online games. The key to business success for game developers is a profitable ecommerce model. While many games still rely on subscriptions, others have moved to a "freemium" model that charges for micro-transactions like purchasing a sword or armor in the middle of action.
Simply put, the ability to make payments with a single click without disrupting the shopping experience can be a big driver for converting more shoppers into buyers. After all, isn't it all about convenience and simplicity?
Ralph Dangelmaier is the CEO of BlueSnap, leading the charge to establish BlueSnap as the payments leader in ecommerce. A payment-processing veteran, Ralph brings a wealth of experience creating products for retailers, processors, and financial institutions, and has a proven track record of growing companies both organically and through M&A activity.