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June 17, 2021
Average Read Time: 5 minutes
Depending on what you read, half to two-thirds of the world’s population uses smart phones today. That’s somewhere between 3.8 billion and 5.2 billion people.
And even more astonishingly, one source puts the total number of mobile devices at 14 billion, a number that could increase to 17.75 billion by 2024.
Whatever the actual number, that’s a lot of smart phones and tablets. And we’re using those devices to make purchases more and more often via technology that includes mobile-optimized websites, mobile POS terminals, and mobile wallet payments.
Mobile-optimized websites allow more customers to find your business and make purchases more easily. Mobile POS and wallet options provide convenience and security. All of them can help boost sales.
As a matter of fact, a study found that offering multiple payment options helped businesses increase their revenue by nearly 30%. Those that accepted four or more payment options brought in seven times more annual revenue than those who offered fewer options.
If you haven’t embraced mobile for your business, now’s the time to start.
Mobile-Optimized Websites Both Market and Sell
According to Statista, mobile devices accounted for almost 55% of website traffic in the first quarter of 2021. If you assume that personal consumption accounts for all that traffic, you assume wrong. A report from BCG says:
If those usage and sales statistics aren’t persuasive enough, remember that Google enabled mobile-first indexing for all new websites two years ago (and had already started to transition existing sites to mobile-first). Simply put, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you will encounter problems getting your site indexed and ranked. And given that more than 90% of mobile searches are performed via Google, that’s a lot of searches you could be left out of – and a lot of business you could lose, particularly in a competitive SEO situation.
Websites using a mobile-first approach leverage the unique aspects of mobile devices (screen size, touch screens, vertical orientations, etc.). And while a mobile-friendly site is important in search, it also is important for payments. How many times have you had trouble completing a purchase on your smartphone? Too often, it turns out. Mobile shopping cart abandonment rates top 86%, and ecommerce brands lose $18 billion in sales, one source says. On the other hand, checkout optimization can increase conversions by 36%.
The rules that apply to mobile-friendly website design apply to payment pages, too:
Mobile POS Terminals Offer Payments Wherever You (and Your Customers) Are
Mobile point of sale (POS) systems take mobile payments to the next level. They’re enjoying high adoption and conversion rates, mainly due to their portability and usability. In 2020, the total mobile POS transaction value was $1.02 billion, according to one estimate, and is expected to more than double to $2.49 billion in 2021. By 2025, the value of the market could almost double again, to $4.65 billion.
Using smartphones or tablets to take card payments on the go is a boon to small and medium-size businesses that operate outside a traditional storefront, such as service businesses, or at trade shows and events. Mobile POS also often is employed within a store, restaurant, or office itself to avoid bottlenecks at checkout.
While 54% of retail businesses have used mobile POS for processing transactions, that leaves 46% of businesses out in the cold. Considering those adoption rates, offering mobile POS can provide a real competitive advantage to businesses that use them.
Mobile Wallets: The Next Big Deal in Contactless Payments
While many of us have made payments via mobile-optimized websites and mobile POS systems, mobile wallets might be less familiar. However, this form of contactless payment is expanding, thanks to the pandemic, which pushed retailers to get on board with contactless payments including mobile wallets.
A mobile wallet stores credit, debit, and loyalty card numbers, accessible through an app on a smartphone or tablet. The information in mobile wallets is encrypted and difficult to steal, making them an appealing option to physical cards.
When a customer makes a payment, the mobile app uses near field communication technology (NFC) to communicate between devices. Merchants that accept mobile wallet payments can be identified through a contactless payment indicator (usually a sideways wi-fi symbol).
A study from Juniper Research found that the total spend through digital wallets will exceed $10 trillion by 2025, up from $5.5 trillion in 2020. Adoption last year was largest among younger consumers, including Gen Z and millennials, according to a recent report by analyst firm eMarketer. Gen Z is expected to account for more than 4 million of the total 6.5 million new mobile wallet users per year from 2021 to 2025.
The evidence is clear that mobile-optimized websites and payments aren’t just here to stay, but are growing in popularity and will only continue to do so in this decade. If you leave mobile out of your payment options, you are more and more likely to lose customers: those who rely on their smartphones to browse and purchase on websites, those you service outside a storefront, those (younger) customers who increasingly prefer to pay with a simple tap of their smartphones.
Can your business afford that? Only you know the answer. But we suspect that in most cases, it’s a resounding “no.” Investing in mobile today means staying competitive tomorrow – and well into the future.
To learn more about how we can help you optimize your business for mobile, let’s get in touch!
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