June 18, 2013
Ecommerce merchants have been slow to adapt to the growth in mobile, with 82 percent not knowing whether a purchase on their Web site comes from a mobile device or a PC, according to a new report from TransFirst and ControlScan.
The data for those ecommerce merchants who are tracking mobile reveals that mobile site visitors represent a significantly increasing portion of online sales. However, 49 percent of ecommerce merchants said their Web sites are not currently optimized for mobile devices, suggesting that these merchants may be missing out on opportunities to capture mobile sales.
“While some mobile-based technology advancements such as mobile wallet have not received the necessary level of consumer adoption for small merchants to stand up and take note, these merchants should be responding to the increasing number of mobile shoppers,” said David Abouchar, senior director of product management at ControlScan, Alpharetta, GA.
“The big news is that, as a whole, small merchants who sell online are not adapting to critical consumer trends with regard to mobile,” he said.
Many merchants are seeing up to 25 percent of their traffic from mobile devices and this number continues to grow, pointing to the need for merchants to ensure their Web site provides easy access and navigation optimizing and 17 percent saying they do not know or are unsure if their Web site is optimized for mobile.
For multichannel merchants, 31 percent currently have mobile-optimized site and 16 percent are in the process of optimizing their efforts.
The "Small Merchants and Mobile Payments: 2013 Survey on Technology Awareness and Adoption" report examines the impact of growing mobile use on merchants who process fewer than 20,000 ecommerce or one million physical card transactions annually. It was conducted between March 18 and April 18.
One of the key takeaways from the report is that ecommerce merchants may be putting up roadblocks to the growing number of mobile consumers.
Only 7 percent of ecommerce merchants without a mobile-optimized site say they are in the process of rolling out one.
For merchants who interact face-to-face with consumer, the number who said they are using a smartphone or tablet to accept credit card payments has nearly doubled in the past year, with 17 percent saying they are using mobile POS compared to 10 percent last year.
The ability to accept payments from any location was cited by 73 percent of respondents for why they adopted mobile POS. However, 63 percent said they have not replaced their traditional POS equipment, indicating that most merchants view mobile POS as an add-on service.
When it comes to accepting mobile wallets, there was no change in the numbers between 2012 and 2013, with only 3 percent saying they are currently accepting mobile wallets.
Additionally, 47 percent said they have no plans to accept mobile wallets in the foreseeable future.
The numbers shows that small merchants currently have little interest in or readiness for accepting mobile wallets.
The report also reveals the need for better education around the benefits of mobile wallets, with comments from retailers indicating a general lack of understanding of the utility provided by such a solution.
“We are continually surprised by the large number of ecommerce merchants who don’t think it’s necessary to mobile-optimize their site,” Mr. Abouchar said. “Our report references multiple industry studies that show non-optimized sites are losing out on revenue.
“Another surprise from this year’s study was that, while the number of merchants using a mobile device to accept face-to-face payments nearly doubled, the percentage of those replacing their traditional POS with the mobile solution remained relatively flat,” he said.
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York