Smartphone-equipped shoppers boost ecommerce


Ecommerce is no longer limited to home computers. The process of buying goods online has grown as shoppers become more comfortable with their smartphones and tablet computers. Apps for shopping have put everything a tap of the finger away, as long as retailers have the secure transaction management software to handle the information.

Now, anywhere is a venue for purchases and retailers wanting to stay effective and competitive compared to their rivals are seizing the opportunity to sell to mobile-equipped shoppers.

New trends

A recent survey found that ecommerce growth is being driven by a new generation of shoppers, willing to buy more things on the go. The Global Online Shopper Report found that modern customers spend 22 percent of their annual output on online purchases. This shopping takes an average of five hours a month.

These numbers mean that retailers can no longer pass on adopting an ecommerce strategy. Leaving more than a fifth of customer spending untapped could be a critical mistake in tentative financial times.

Smartphones are the rising force in the ecommerce world. A company's transaction management system must be able to securely process payments from mobile sources, as the survey found that 19 percent of consumers shop on the devices. In some countries, these numbers spike heavily. In China, for instance, 46 percent of respondents made purchases through phones.

"Ecommerce is growing at a rapid pace, with consumers in nearly all countries spending a growing percentage of their income online," said Phillip McGriskin, product officer with the report's sponsor. The consumer appetite for buying cross-border is strong, particularly in the high-growth developing online economies."

Overall, the report found that online shopping has essentially left the home. Customers shop while at work, while at college classes, while in the car or at restaurants. A lack of proper processing technology means missing all of these markets.

Multi-channel wrinkles

The rise of mobile devices for shopping may have effects on multi-channel sales beyond their capacity to enable online shopping. A recent report in the Winnipeg Sun stated that customers are also eager to use their smartphones as a payment device in stores. This means that new technology is needed at the retail point-of-sale as well, to accommodate the newly connected shoppers. As with any new trend, however, businesses on the forefront of multi-channel tech could capture the attention of the brand new market segment. Physical purchases using phones are especially developed in Canada, with other countries still in the investigative stages.