|EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2946 - November 29, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065 4 of 4|
The post-Thanksgiving shopping bonanza known as Cyber Monday has again set a new record, producing a record $1.46 billion in online sales, according to Web metrics firm comScore.
But "Cyber Monday," a term coined in 2005, is an increasingly mobile phenomenon. IBM reported that more than 18 percent of shoppers visited a retailer's site on the Monday after Thanksgiving, and mobile sales accounted for nearly 13 percent of the overall transaction volume, up 96 percent from last year.
Even those impressive numbers, however, were overshadowed by the commanding role that mobile devices played for the merchants served by payments startup Braintree, a firm offering a platform on which developers can build ecommerce applications. Braintree, which has made mobile an area of particular focus, boasts that it processes payments for 50 of the largest online merchants.
This Cyber Monday, Braintree reported that mobile sales accounted for 29 percent of all the transactions that it processed, more than twice the proportion that IBM reported across the industry. That represented an increase of 50 percent from last year.
"Many retailers fail to see the opportunity mobile presents," Braintree CEO Bill Ready said in an email interview. "While there has been plenty of data to support this shift in consumer spending habits, many retailers believe that high-ticket and traditional retail items simply don't sell via mobile, or that their customer base isn't shopping or purchasing online. Often retailers are surprised at how high their mobile traffic and purchases are when they view their Web analytics."
Overall, Braintree, whose clients include Living Social, Animoto and OpenTable, reported that the volume of mobile payments that it processed has more than tripled since last year, with transaction revenue up 40 percent quarter-to-quarter to an annual mark of $1.5 billion.
The company, an emerging competitor of PayPal and Square in the payments space, prides itself on a set of mobile-payment tools that retailers can easily deploy on their sites to achieve one-click checkout, encryption for securing transactions and swift processing. But it's the simplified setup that Braintree sees as a chief selling point for small sellers, noting that many of its clients, including the daily-deal powerhouse Living Social, began as small shops whose rapid growth was at least partly attributable to sites that were optimized for mobile.
"Mobile is not limited to large retail chains. Small ecommerce businesses have just as much to gain and far more to lose by not going mobile," Ready said.
Braintree also stresses the importance of streamlining the checkout process for use on mobile devices, whose users are generally less patient than the garden-variety ecommerce shopper.
"We already know that consumers are spending time researching purchases on their tablets and smartphones," Ready said, pointing to industry estimates that mobile accounts for 20 percent of all searches, a figure that could reach 50 percent within two years.
"However, conversion rates on a mobile device are 75 percent lower on average than they are online when a merchant does not optimize their site or payment experience for mobile," he added. "One of the greatest deterrents for consumers is having to type out all their credit and shipping information via touchscreen. People have less patience on mobile and the purchasing experience needs to be quick and frictionless. If more retailers had optimized websites that included a smaller design, a seamless shopping experience and a single-click checkout, we would see an even higher adoption rate on the consumer side."
About the Author
About the author:
Kenneth Corbin is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C. He has written on politics, technology and other subjects since 2007, most recently as the Washington correspondent for InternetNews.com, covering Congress, the White House, the FCC and other regulatory affairs. He can be found on LinkedIn here.
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