Trends in both technology and customer behavior mean that your customers will be buying your products via mobile phones in ever increasing numbers. Smartphone ownership is on the rise and people are moving away from shopping at brink-and-mortar stores.
Check out this infographic from DirectBuy about the prevalence of smartphone use and changing shopping behavior.
Indeed, as of October 2014, 64% of American adults owned smartphones. 42% own tablets. 29% of adults describe their cell phone as "something they can't imagine living without," and 44% sleep with their phones by their beds so they don't miss anything.
As well, 15% of smartphone owners say they have limited access to the internet apart from their phone. And this is more common among younger people.
82% of smartphone users use mobile devices to shop. That's a lot. It's about 198 million people. And 81% of shoppers research online before buying a product.
What does this mean for you?
First, you need to make sure that your site is optimized for mobile. Smartphone and tablet users are 5 times more likely to abandon a task, including shopping, if the site isn't mobile optimized. 52% of mobile users say they are less likely to do business with a company who has a site that doesn't work well on mobile.
It is estimated that by 2020, user experience will surpass pricing as the main differentiator between brands.
The writing is on the wall. Or rather it is on the smartphone. To survive in the coming years, a mobile optimized website is necessary for ecommerce.