Mobile Strategy in e-Commerce

By the end of 2015 the mobile share is expected to grow to over 40% of ecommerce transactions globally according to Criteo and to 70% by 2017.

Mobile traffic is on the rise and acquisition supported by interaction on mobile devices increases.

Furthermore, mobile specific email marketing increases in importance as it already proved to be the most effective emailing tactic. As a result, mobile applications tend to become more sophisticated, retailers having various    business objectives whilst developing them, including customer engagement, in-app purchase, in store sales or brand awareness.

In terms of the devices used, Iphone share of ecommerce dropped from 75,1% in 2012 to 53,6% in March 2014; Samsung have quadrupled their market share of phone orders from 6,9% in 2012 to 30,5% in 2014. Ipad still has the largest share in tablet ecommerce orders. 

A future proof website structure starts with a mobile first thinking and is designed to help you capture more sales on all channels. It should allows the content of your site to adapt and fit any screen size, enabling users to easily navigate through your website from any device, thus increasing conversion rates.

Mobile options

When evaluating your mobile strategy, you can choose from building a native application, creating a dedicated mobile website or using responsive design in your web store.

Native mobile applications

  • Built specifically for a mobile operating system (iOS, Android, etc.) and can typically be downloaded from an app store.


  • User friendly
  • The app lives on the customer’s smartphone and can store payment and contact information for quicker checkouts and a faster shopping experience
  • You can value added mobile-specific features your customers like, such as camera access, GPS, contacts and photo galleries


  • Can be expensive to develop and maintain
  • Quite complicated to build multiple apps to be compatible with the different operating systems and have them all synchronized

Dedicated mobile websites

  • Advantages
    • Good look & feel for mobile
    • It covers the basic functionality of a native app without having to deal with compatibility issues
    • Can be viewed on browsers across all operating systems, reducing development costs
  • Disadvantages:
    • A mobile website can be manually saved to a user’s mobile desktop. But still, this process isn’t as simple as downloading an app from an app store
    • Mobile websites typically don’t have the ability to incorporate some of the more advanced mobile-specific features that native apps can employ, like camera access, galleries or contacts
    • Needs its own unique URL – you should either automatically redirect customers to the mobile site ir they’ll have to remember a second URL

Responsive website

We will provide a detailed description of this option in a separate blog article.

Interesting facts about mobile in e-Commerce

  • 70% of retailers interviewed in various surveys plan to increase their investment in mobile strategy
  • 40% of mobile users look for or redeem mobile coupons
  • Mobile coupons are 10 times more likely to be redeemed than regular coupons (UPS)
  • 65% of marketing emails were opened on mobile
  • After opening an email on their mobile device, 1 out of 5 made a purchase (UPS)
  • While using a retailer’s mobile shopping app, 6 out of 10 kept shopping (UPS)
  • 38% of website visitors claim they won’t return to a retailer website if it is not mobile optimized (UPS ComScore 2014
  • 1 in 4 Last holiday Season orders were from mobile

Where to start from while implementing your mobile strategy?

  • Analyse the traffic coming to your website from desktop, smartphones or tablets, including conversion rates and bounce rate for each
  • Adopt a responsive template:
    • Minimum mobile optimization
    • Optimize navigation for mobile with simple functionality and appealing CTAs
    • Focus on search as one of the most important tools
    • Optimize checkout control
  • Get help form an expert UX designer
  • Reduce the number of clicks needed for each purchase
  • Apply best practices for mobile email marketing, including mobile friendly email templates
  • Segment your audience based on your predefined buyer personnas, your customers’ previous purchasing patterns and their online behavior
  • Focus on having a consistent user experience accross all channels, being them physical, desktop, mobile or tablet, including here design, messaging and promotion

What works in mobile marketing?

A Digiday and Criteo survey done on retail executive and agencies in July 2014 shows that they consider to be the most effective the following mobile marketing efforts:

  • advanced location based targeting (55%+)
  • in store targeting (30%+)
  • cross device targeting (10%+)

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