The power of mobile shopping – why eCommerce brands must take a mobile-first approach

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Here, we look at the changing face of mobile shopping, the question of apps – and how to create the best possible mobile shopping experience.

Key Highlights:

  • 60 per cent of online retail sales are now made from mobile phones
  • UK ranks higher than any EU country for mobile sales – mCommerce
  • Stats show that Gen Z, Gen X and millennials are increasingly purchasing from their smartphones
  • eCommerce retailers must embrace the change and think mobile-first or risk getting left behind
  • Basket abandonment on mobile is around 80% – online payment solutions can make a huge difference and reduce this


By the year 2025, nearly three quarters of the world’s population (72%) are expected to use only their smartphones to access the internet. That’s an incredible statistic, underlining how important it is for eCommerce brands to ensure their websites are created with a mobile-first approach in mind.

Often, the traditional desktop website design is the bigger focus for online retailers, and although there is clearly still lots of opportunity to drive sales this way, accessibility and a good user experience on mobile is key.

In the UK, 60 per cent of total retail online sales now come from mobile phones – that’s more than any other country in Europe. Only the US and China are ahead when it comes to the mobile eCommerce market. And retail sales in the UK from mobile commerce (or mCommerce) are expected to surpass £100 billion by 2024 in the UK, underlining the huge growth that experts have forecast.

In our latest whitepaper, we’ve sourced some other eye-opening statistics around mCommerce. It’s free to download so make sure you get your digital copy today. In this blog, we delve a little deeper into the mCommerce and how retailers can fully embrace it.


From research to purchase – how mobile shopping is changing in the UK

Although the history of the smartphone can be traced back to 1992 courtesy of IBM, it wasn’t until 2007 and Apple’s first iPhone that things really started to gather pace. It was an influential year for smartphones that really transformed the industry and set the tone for what has followed since.

According to Statista, in 2008 just 17% of people in the UK over the age of 16 had a smartphone. Fast forward to the present day and that number is now 88% with Apple, Samsung and up-and-coming brands like Huawei the dominant players.

The evolution of the smartphone has also seen its primary use shift over time. What was once just a device for making calls quickly became something that people could send messages and play games like snake on (who remembers the Nokia 3210!). In time, they also allowed consumers to browse the internet more easily, research products and services, compare prices and make buying decisions.

Increasingly, mobile phones are now the primary choice when it comes to making online purchases. The latest data shows how younger demographics favour their smartphone for buying online, although mobile shopping is definitely not limited to just Get Z:

  • 45% of those born between 1997 and 2015 said they pay for items with their digital or mobile wallets.
  • Millennials were not far behind — 32% made payments through mobile and digital wallets, as did 28% of Gen Xers.
  • Millennials were the most likely to switch to mobile apps for payments. In 2018, 32% of young millennials and 38% of those aged between 27 and 37 used payment apps.
  • Only 9% of adults over 75 used these services, the lowest percentage of all age groups.


Payment solutions at checkout

Creating a brilliant mCommerce experience is a fantastic way to boost your business revenue and meet the rising trend for mobile shopping. But one caveat is that basket abandonment for mobile is higher than computer or tablet shopping:

These figures represent basket abandonment rates in the UK for the fourth quarter of 2021:

  • Mobile: 80%
  • Computer: 73%
  • Tablet: 70%

Offering a payment solution at your online checkout is one good way to overcome these numbers and help to get consumers over the final hurdle of making a purchase. Research has shown that UK consumers will stop a purchase if their preferred payment method isn’t available, so offering more options can reduce basket abandonment.

Solutions like the one at DivideBuy can help with this, offering consumers an interest free credit option and the choice to spread the cost of a purchase over a longer period of time. The solution also works seamlessly across all devices – mobile, desktop and tablet – so you can ensure your customers are presented with solutions to match their needs.

The speed of your checkout process is another important element when it comes to seeing those all important purchases coming through. Just as an online shopper will expect a great experience on site, they’ll also expect the actual purchase itself to be quick and painless.

Data from Shopify found that 18% of people abandon their shopping cart because of a long and complicated checkout process, so there are plenty of reasons to make sure this is as slick as possible. Some other key reasons included the need to create an account, and also issues around hidden or extra costs, so make sure to analyse your entire checkout process to make it as easy to navigate as possible.


Creating best-in-class mobile shopping experiences

Research conducted by internet technology expert Wolfgang Jaegel suggests that 83% of mobile users think a seamless experience across all devices is crucial. With a mobile website, companies must find consistency with their desktop presence, so that the journey from browsing to buying is as easy as possible, and the overall user experience is seamless. We’ve written a lot more about the importance of UX and CX here.

A convenient shopping experience is what all consumers crave and have come to expect from the brands they choose to buy from. Many are disappointed if they can’t make a purchase in just a few clicks. Mobile sites that can’t meet these demands will ultimately lose shoppers, miss out on sales and drive consumers to competitors that have sites and checkouts that are more digitally sophisticated.

Here are three useful ways your brand could enhance its mCommerce offering:


1. Focus on creating a user-friendly experience for mobile first

Keep the design of the mobile site clean and clear whilst also staying true to your main site. Use a responsive design and remove any unnecessary headings or pictures that could be a distraction for buyers. Simplicity and ease of use is the most important factor.


2. Put consumer needs at the heart of your mCommerce strategy 

Things like site search are great for offering some added value for consumers. It gives them the ability to quickly look for products or services that match their criteria. Add this to a filter option and it can make a huge difference to the shopping experience.

Also consider the age and demographic of your typical customer and make sure that the experience matches with their expectations. For example, if you’re appealing to an older demographic, larger and cleaner font as well as prompts could be useful.


3. Consider the use of trust marks on your mobile site

Security is a big consideration when it comes to buying via mobile so do as much as you can to give confidence to your customers. Consider adding the logos of security software to reassure people that your website is protected and safe.

Also make use of other trust signals like customer reviews, case studies or Trustpilot scores to offer an added layer of confidence for online shoppers.


The use of native mobile applications

Many eCommerce retailers have developed their own apps to create an easy mobile shopping experience. The choice of whether to develop a native app will depend on your business model and the audience you are appealing to.

Having customers download your app will ensure a greater chance of repeated sales as opposed to them visiting the website. Things like push notifications are a good way to encourage repeat orders, and it’s possible to allow mCommerce apps to save important information so that customers don’t have to enter all of their details each time they want to make a purchase.

Again, you should make sure your mobile app complements and mirrors your main eCommerce site. This includes the content on the site/app in terms of imagery, structure or architecture of your products and other information such as returns.

The explosion of the mCommerce market continues to gather pace and it’s vital for retailers to make sure they stay one step ahead. The online experience has a direct link to online sales, so be sure to take a look at our whitepaper for even more useful tips and advice to help your eCommerce business.

We’ve increased conversions and reduced cart abandonment for many of the retailers we work with, so to find out how we can help you, get in touch with our team today.

Book a Demo

Please note, a minimum turnover of £5M and minimum trading of 24 months is required to work with DivideBuy.

Please note, a minimum turnover of £5M and minimum trading of 24 months is required to work with DivideBuy.


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