Selling online in a mobile age

78% of local business searches made by mobile phones turn into purchases, according to a report by Kissmetrics. With figures like this, it’s hard to deny the impact that mobile devices have had on ecommerce. But how else has the nationwide adoption of smartphones changed the way that businesses trade online?

In this article, the TWP team explain how the ecommerce market has changed, what customers are starting to expect, and how mobile ecommerce is making business’ finances more difficult to budget for.

How have mobiles changed ecommerce?

In the space of 30 years, trading has gone from a physical-only experience to a full-blown digital industry. Here are three ways that the introduction of the internet and the widespread adoption of smartphones have changed the way that businesses view ecommerce today:

More shoppers

Digitisation means globalisation. Now, customers from across the globe can purchase your products and services. This is a far cry from the days of localised trade. Businesses now have a much larger target audience to appeal to and customers have more choice of who to buy from.

Supply and demand

Because more customers have turned to mobile purchases, the number of businesses providing their services on mobile devices has risen. Put simply, businesses are just following where their customers are leading them. As more businesses become mobile friendly, the competition to win over customers has also risen.

Higher expectations

Another result of the increased competition between mobile-friendly businesses is that customers’ expectations have risen too. They have so much choice that unless your prices are low and your value for money is high, you won’t be getting any customers.

Responsive ecommerce platforms

One of the reasons that ecommerce is so popular on mobile devices is the emphasis on responsive ecommerce platforms. This means that no matter what device you view a marketplace on, it will always be user friendly and accessible. Brands like Shopify have made their ecommerce platforms mobile friendly and easy to use on all websites. The result of this is that it is easy for businesses to implement a mobile-friendly ecommerce platform.

The technical innovations, positive customer feedback, and significant profitability of ecommerce on mobile devices means that it’s now become one of the main ways that many consumers purchase their products. However, there is now the expectation that your ecommerce platform is mobile-friendly. This can mean that you need to invest more into your web design than in previous years in order to keep up with your competitors.

The financial changes mobile ecommerce brings

There are two main ways that mobile use have changed how businesses profit from ecommerce platforms, which are:

Supply chain management

Not only do you have to maintain your current supply chain, but the rise in mobile ecommerce has meant that a lot of businesses have to revaluate their supply chain structure. This could be because your suppliers can’t keep up with the additional demand which is coming from mobile users or it could be because mobile ecommerce has made it more difficult to predict the levels of stock that your business needs.

Cashflow changes

Cashflow has always been an issue for many businesses and mobile ecommerce isn’t doing anybody any favours. Advancements in mobile technology mean that it’s easier than ever for mobile users to shop around before they decide on who they are going to buy from, so if one of your competitors runs a sale, you are far more likely to see the effect that has on your cashflow.

Manage your online finances with TWP

If you would like some advice on managing your business’ ecommerce finances, get in touch with our team. We can help you iron out any lumps in your cashflow and budget for changing stock levels.

For more information, call us on 01932 704700 or email your TWP accounts manager if we can assist you in any way.

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