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Mobile Commerce Driving Revenue Spikes for Online Retailers

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April 15, 2014

Mobile Commerce Driving Revenue Spikes for Online Retailers

By Steve Anderson
Contributing TMCnet Writer

These days, it's hard to imagine retail operations doing particularly well anywhere. With the recent bankruptcy of Coldwater Creek and a host of similarly bad news coming out in the sector, it's a wonder that anyone's still selling anything to anybody. But there's a particular point that's doing quite well for online retailers, and that's the field known as mobile commerce. A new report from Unbound Commerce shows just what's at stake for online retailers that put mobile commerce to work...and for those that don't as well.

The Unbound Commerce report focused on over 350 different retailers who put Unbound's Mobile Presence platform to work. From that platform, Unbound could generate a report, and the numbers are actually quite telling. The member sites in question actually saw a total combined increase in mobile commerce revenue in the first quarter of 2014 of 101.45 percent, as measured against the same time the previous year. That's no small jump, considering how the rest of the economy is proceeding, but there are plenty of other points that join in to make the picture even clearer.

Unique visitors to mobile sites using Unbound's platform also increased a reported 36.5 percent, while total mobile page views were also up 56 percent. Even sales conversion rates are on the climb at 29 percent over the same time in 2013. The total number of transactions staged in mobile shopping was up over 82 percent, and even bounce rates saw a slight loss at -1.28 percent. Perhaps the biggest prize, though, were the reports that the average order value for mobile commerce clients running Unbound had likewise increased just over 12 percent, going from $82.66 to $92.77.

Of course, some of these numbers have alternative explanations. Issues of inflation may have driven some of those average order sizes up, meaning that customers were doing about the same amounts of shopping before, but that prices went up. But, as explained by Unbound Commerce's VP of business development and sales Wilson Kerr, mobile commerce was steadily on the rise. Kerr noted: “In almost every field we measure for, mobile commerce continued to grow rapidly in Q1 2014. We are adding new user interface features and enhancements all the time to increase consumer adoption and reduce friction. This drives more revenue through a channel consumers are increasingly likely to use.”

Indeed, the drive to mobile may explain, at least in part, what's happening in brick-and-mortar. Those who remember the weather in the first quarter of 2014 remember that it was, to say the least, difficult. With roads often rendered impassable in many places, it's not surprising that some may have turned to mobile devices, and window shopping, to pass the time. It may not be a complete explanation, of course, but it may have had something to do with it.

The key takeaway here is as it's been for some time. Businesses that put that extra bit of effort and attention into mobile sites are more likely to be rewarded by better sales and improved bottom line performance. Making sure that mobile sites are easy to work with means a great potential for better sales, and at the end of the day, that's what just about every business wants.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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