Pixel Fish Website Design Blog

The Rise of Mobile eCommerce

Posted by Mark Fouche on Jul 26, 2019
Mark Fouche
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Mobile ecommerce is swiftly replacing desktops and laptops as the preferred medium for online shopping. In search results Google now prioritises mobile responsive websites over those that are not mobile friendly. Put simply: if you want your website to rank and it isn’t optimised for mobile, you don’t have a chance.

The Rise of Mobile eCommerce

There are many drivers responsible for the rapid increase in mobile ecommerce transactions. Innovation is certainly a driving factor; as are AI voice assistants and chat-bots - which have arrived on the scene in recent years and are helping make mobile commerce a more positive user experience. The major driving factor, however, in the rise of mobile ecommerce is simply changed consumer behaviour.

In 2019, consumers are spending more and more time on their mobile devices for both work and play. With over 1.2 billion of us using smart phones to access the internet each and every day, it makes sense that a marked increase in mobile online shopping has been a direct result of that changed behaviour.

Our constant mobile use has not only changed how we shop, how we work and how we connect with others, it has also left us feeling quite lost when we don’t have our phones. 55% of smartphone users have reported they experience heightened anxiety when they are without their phone. This feeling of distress is so common it has resulted in the term nomophobia entering our vocabulary. Nomophobia is described as “the fear of being without a mobile phone”.

The rise and rise of mobile ecommerce

Ensuring your ecommerce store is optimised for mobile use was once a nice-to-have, but is now absolutely essential for your store’s survival.  It is important, as an ecommerce retailer, why mobile ecommerce is only predicted to go from strength to strength in the future.  

What factors are behind the rise of mobile ecommerce?

There are several main factors as to why mobile ecommerce has witnessed such growth, and why it doesn’t look like slowing down anytime soon:

New ways to use mobile

The emergence of new ways in which consumers are able to use their mobile devices to complete purchases (such as in-store mobile checkout capabilities, mobile wallets and click-and-collect options), have been attributed to the substantial uptick in mobile commerce. 

Increased access to the web, 24/7

Smart phones are now in the hands of more consumers than ever. No longer purely the realm of the wealthy, some smart phones are now available at price-points as low as $100. With more and more consumers having access to the internet 24/7 via their smartphones, ecommerce stores are reaping the benefits.

Youth and the new social landscape

Young people today use their mobile devices to remain connected to friends – usually through text and messaging apps like WhatsApp and Messenger or social media platforms such as Instagram, SnapChat and Facebook.

Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram can drive traffic to ecommerce stores, with targeted ads appearing regularly in users’ newsfeeds. Savvy ecommerce stores are taking advantage of social media platforms in order to increase their sales.  Around 55% of consumers have made an online purchase after seeing the product advertised on social media. 

Improved user experience

The trend towards larger smart phone screens has resulted in an enhanced experience for online shoppers. When the bigger mobile screens were released, retail sales statistics show that online shopping sales via mobile spiked.

Single-click ease

Single-click and on the site buy buttons provide customers with ease of payment, making online shopping via mobile device easier than it has ever been before.


Mobile commerce is a mandatory consideration for ecommerce retailers, in fact as reported by Huffington Post, Google now penalises websites that have not been optimised for mobile use.

Google uses a specific algorithm that ascertains how mobile friendly sites are, which ultimately affect their rankings in the search engines - this is often referred to by ecommerce store owners as “Mobilegeddon”.

Great design comes into its’ own

Amazon in the US has been enjoying massive success thanks to their user friendly, mobile responsive website. It has been proven customers spend more time on sites that are mobile friendly, like Amazon’s site, when compared to sites like Walmart or (US) Target, that are not as mobile friendly.

In fact, Amazon has been shown to earn up to 70% of market share around holidays, easily luring customers away from other online retailers who were not providing customers with an equal user experience.

So where is Mobile E-Commerce all headed?

According to Hacker Noon, the average US citizen spends more than four hours a day on their smartphone, checking it as much as 150 times a day. It is estimated by emarketer.com that in the US this year mobile phones will exceed TV to attract the most minutes of attention.

Ecommerce store owners should note that while 40% of consumers admit to researching a product on their mobile device prior to purchase, while 70% of mobile searches have led to action within an hour of the search, (putting this statistic into perspective, desktop users generally take one month to reach the same percentage).

Notably, 67% of consumers admit they go “digital window shopping” using their mobile device and, when they do, 77% of these digital window shoppers admit to making impulse purchases. If your store is easy to navigate and structured to encourage browsing, digital window shoppers are likely to spend more time on your site (increasing your chances of benefiting as consumers impulse shop!).

Ecommerce store owners should also pay attention to their page loading times and website speed. 40% of all consumers leave a page if it takes any more than three seconds to load. You can check your page speeds using Google’s PageSpeed insights tool here.

Google have conducted research that shows that 73% of consumers will leave a poorly designed mobile site and switch to one that is easier to navigate and use. Keep in mind that negative mobile online shopping experiences leave those customers 62% less likely to purchase from the same store again. Once those customers are gone, the majority of them are not coming back – which makes addressing issues such as mobile responsiveness, website speed and site navigation a matter of priority for ecommerce site owners.

Business Insider has predicted 45% of all ecommerce revenue will be derived from mobile commerce by the end of 2020. Javelin’s estimate is slightly higher. Javelin predict that 49% of all online retail commerce will be mobile commerce transactions by 2020. Either way, mobile ecommerce will continue to grow as consumers chose to access the internet via their mobile devices, rather than use a desktop or laptop computer.

Ecommerce has seen substantial and consistent growth over the past few years, and now with smartphones becoming more accessible to all demographics than ever before, mobile commerce is positioned to not only continue to grow, but become our preferred method of online shopping.

Websites that are not mobile responsive - or are just too slow in loading - will be quickly by-passed by consumers in favour of sites that have planned ahead for the inevitable rise of mobile ecommerce.

Mobile responsive design ensures your user will have the best possible experience of your ecommerce store, regardless of which device they use to access it. Responsive design also means Google’s algorithm update will like your site, increasing your site’s visibility on search engines.

If you are building a new ecommerce store, factoring in mobile-friendly design is critically important, particularly when it comes to user experience and satisfaction. If, on the other hand, you have a current ecommerce store that is not optimised for mobile, you should consider updating your site to a responsive website design as a matter of urgency.

Whether you are after a brand new ecommerce site for your business, or you already have an ecommerce store that is not optimised for mobile - we can help you. Get in touch with the team at Pixel Fish today and so we can get together and have a chat about the best way forward for your business.

Further Reading:
How to Choose The Best Payment Gateway for WooCommerce
15 Unbeatable SEO Tips for WooCommerce

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Topics: eCommerce, WooCommerce