Mobile E Commerce Why Consumers Buy

Have you ever wondered what drives ecommerce shoppers to move from purchasing on their computers to buying on their smart phone or tablet PC? InternetRetailer.com recently compiled data sourced by comScore.com that details the top four reasons that consumers buy via mobile commerce and how those reasons impact organizations with B2B ecommerce initiatives.

63% of respondants cited on-the-go convenience as the reason that they purchase via mobile commerce. 52% cite the availability of special offers and coupons while 48% call out how easy it is to compare pricing and find the best deal online. 41% indicate that the shop using mobile commerce as a direct result of a product not be available in stores.

What does this mean for B2B organizations that sell their products via ecommerce? Let’s look at each of the cited reasons individually.

  1. On-the-go-convenience. The number one reason that online shoppers move to mobile commerce is the at-the-fingertips convenience that mobile commerce provides. The reality is that 43% of US mobile phone users already own a web-enabled smart phone and 58% of all new phones sold are smart phones (Source: InternetRetailer.com). These statistics, coupled with the fact that tablet PC and iPad sales are climbing, indicate that a growing number of consumers effectively have a computer in their pocket or handbag and that they are more likely to make business and personal purchases on them. B2B ecommerce observation: If you don’t have a mobile-optimized ecommerce site, you are probably losing out on a growing number of sales.
  2. Available special offers and coupons. Consumers love a good deal–and in today’s economy, businesses are paying an increasing amount of attention to ways that they can cut costs. Many organizations are moving to online purchases as an easy way to save money through lower purchases prices, reduced mark up and, sometimes, to avoid sales tax. Offering special incentives, offers and coupons is a natural next step in enticing the business consumer to purchase online and via mobile commerce. B2B ecommerce observation: Consider offering an online incentive to those customers that purchase online or via mobile commerce. As a marketing tool, incentives and online coupons can also be used to encourage current ecommerce customers to consider utitlizing their smart phones and tablets to place orders on-the-go. 
  3. Easy to compare prices and find the best deal. On-the-fly price comparison is one of the most powerful attributes of mobile commerce today. In today’s ecommerce driven society, a person can be standing in a shoe store in a specific pair of shoes and hop on her phone to check pricing online–and buy the same pair immediately–often for less. B2B ecommerce observation: If your customers are searching online–and they ARE searching online, even if it doesn’t appear to be happening right now–it is essential that your products appear on their search engine results page. Now is the time to ensure that your ecommerce site is search engine optimized.
  4. Product not available in-store. How often have you arrived at a store only to find that the product you want isn’t available? I don’t know about you, but when this happens to me I can often be found standing in the middle of the aisle searching on my smart phone for one of two things: 1) whether the product is available online from the same retailer, or 2) looking for another retailer that offers the product–in-store or online. B2B ecommerce observation: If you have local stores or dealer locations where a customer might be left stranded while searching for a specific product, consider utilizing in-store signage that directs them directly to your website for obscure products. If your products are offered online only, make sure that your site is optimized to pull up when a competitor’s products are searched online to ensure that you secure any “stranded customer” sales that arise.

Mobile commerce adoption is growing and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. As a B2B organization with an ecommerce initiative, if you aren’t thinking about how mobile commerce will affect your business–positively or negatively–it’s certainly time that you do so.