Offering PayPal Boosts Mobile Sales
By David A. Utter
The overall increase in ecommerce sales has expanded from the longtime desktop PC and credit card purchasing experience. Greater availability of internet-capable smartphones coupled with consumer interest in alternate payment methods continue to drive purchasing behavior in new directions.
As the mobile shopping public taps and scrolls its way through the buying experience, eBay's payment purchasing arm PayPal looks like it will be a significant beneficiary of this activity. Earlier in 2013 at eBay's Analyst Day, CEO John Donahoe said PayPal would handle $20 billion in mobile payments this year.
That would reflect a healthy increase from 2012's $14 billion in mobile payment volume, and makes 2011's $4 billion worth of mobile payments processed look quaint.
Recent evidence of PayPal's rising influence showed up as global analytics and optimization firm Webtrends recently disclosed its experience on the matter. Working with ACHICA, a luxury lifestyle items online retailer, Webtrends tracked shopping activity when the seller decided to add PayPal as a payment option for its customers.
Testing showed some interesting figures. With existing debit and credit card options still available but with an option to use PayPal added, Webtrends found over 29 percent of customers opted to pay through PayPal.
ACHICA saw overall transactions rise by 3.22 percent, but also saw mobile transactions increase after making PayPal available by 3.63 percent. "Offering customers a wide choice of payment methods is a good area to develop, particularly as more and more retailers look to sell overseas," Chris Kennedy, Optimisation Consultant at Webtrends EMEA said in a statement.
Being available to mobile customers will mean a lot to ecommerce pros, even more so than responsive web design, a process that makes a site's features available to desktop as well as mobile browsing platforms. Mobile shopping solution provider Shopgate makes the argument that the key to greater conversions for online sellers will be mobile optimization, rather than updating a website.
Shopgate CEO and founder Andrea Anderheggen said in its report that while one out of a thousand people will buy something on a non-optimized site via mobile, that figure becomes one in two-hundred fifty making a purchase when browsing on a mobile optimized presence.
About the author:
David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. Send your tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.
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