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Understanding Mobile Commerce’s Growing Importance to Holiday Sales

mobile commerce m-commerce holidays

With every click and swipe, mobile devices are becoming as integral to holiday shopping as gift wrapping. More than 55 percent of shoppers now plan to use a phone or a tablet to make at least one holiday purchase. With Deloitte, one of the largest accounting firms in the world, predicting that eCommerce sales could reach as high as $218 billion this season, optimizing your store’s mobile experience and strategy in time for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holidays couldn’t be an easier business decision.

Establishing your eCommerce strategy for mobile commerce (m-commerce) can help you grab more clicks, taps, and swipes, reduce cart abandonment and boost your holiday revenue to new heights.

The first step of a successful mobile commerce strategy is setting up an eCommerce website with a mobile-friendly design. We suggest trying an eCommerce website template that has been designer-made with mobile experience in mind. Shoppers should be able to proceed across the entire customer journey just as seamlessly on a mobile store as they would on a desktop site.

The rapid rise of mobile commerce

Quite simply, m-commerce meets users where they already are—on their mobile devices.

In the 2020 holiday season, 39 percent of eCommerce purchases were made on a smartphone. Experts expect that number to increase this year. And while computers remain the top device for online shoppers, mobile is catching up at the speed of a click. What’s driving this trend?

  • Mobile is where shoppers scroll through their social media feeds, watch videos, message friends, and take in the world. Shopping represents another activity consumers can participate in without leaving the comfort of their phone.

  • Smartphones and faster internet speeds have accelerated the adoption of mobile devices, and thus mobile shopping, across generations and global markets.

  • Increasingly, shoppers browse and buy in a non-linear manner. Their phones have become a valuable research companion tool when shopping in-store, and will complete a purchase on their phone even after having started their shopping journey on a desktop device or in a brick-and-mortar location.

  • As shoppers chose eCommerce vs. in-person shopping at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers responded by ramping up their mobile experiences, further accelerating adoption. As a result, today’s mobile shopping experience is seamless and relatively friction-free. That’s made mobile shopping more convenient, faster, and easier than shopping on a desktop, laptop or in-store.

Which behaviors will m-commerce shoppers embrace during the 2021 Holiday Season?

A YouGov survey commissioned by Facebook over the last two holiday seasons offers insight into what the 2021 holiday season might hold for mobile commerce.

The survey asked nearly 50,000 consumers worldwide about how they celebrate and shop for gifts on mobile during the holiday. Among the findings for U.S. shoppers:

  • 57 percent use their smartphone to research gift ideas

  • 55 percent agree that “I use mobile because it’s safer than going to a store”

  • 44 percent use their smartphone to buy a gift

  • 34 percent choose mobile as their preferred platform

  • 32 percent say their smartphone is the easiest channel to use

  • 30 percent say mobile is “the place to shop” early in the season

The survey also revealed that more than one in four (27 percent) U.S. consumers started their holiday shopping in October in 2020, with 42 percent starting in November.

Six smart ways to capture mobile sales this holiday

The best way to capitalize on the m-commerce acceleration is to start creating a mobile experience that will wow your customers. These six smart tactics can help you get ahead of the mobile-first rush.

01. Sell on Amazon

The market leader in eCommerce also heads the pack in m-commerce. Amazon’s overall share of the eCommerce market is expected to hit 40.4 percent by year’s end, with third-party sellers accounting for more than half (58 percent) of Amazon’s total sales.

In addition, the Amazon Shopping app has 145.2 million mobile users. An online store built on an all-in-one platform like Wix eCommerce can easily integrate with Amazon, allowing you to better manage your omnichannel retail strategy. Doing so can help raise your brand image, make it easier for customers to find your products, and help you scoop up mobile-first holiday purchases.

02. Button up your ‘small screen’ experience

According to the Facebook survey, 39 percent of shoppers found products on eCommerce websites during the 2020 holiday season, and many are accessing those sites on their phones and tablets.

mobile commerce m-commerce store experience

A well-optimized mobile site should help users easily access your product catalog. It also must mimic the speed and performance of consumers’ favorite apps and websites.

All Wix website templates are built to be mobile-friendly. All elements and content found on your online store are resized to suit the smaller screens of mobile devices, ensuring that your shoppers can browse, add to cart, and check out cross-device.

03. Explore new social media channels like TikTok

Have you dipped your toe into the social commerce waters? You could be missing out on an industry that’s projected to grow to $600 billion in the coming years if you don’t.

Social commerce generates $474 billion in revenue, and the leading social media platforms keep introducing new eCommerce features to help retailers connect with users.

A good place to start: TikTok, which reached 1 billion active users globally this year. TikTok Shoppable Ads let retailers create hashtag-driven campaigns that connect users to product content and allow for in-app purchases.

Other promising new eCommerce tools on social media include:

  • Instagram Drops, which lets retailers generate buzz around new products and upcoming launches

  • Twitter Shop Module, which lets retailers link to products in their profiles

  • Pinterest Shopping Lists, which let the app’s users pin products they’re interested in and buy them later

Learn more about these and other emerging social commerce features in this blog post.

04. Invest in on-site chat

Users expect a complete eCommerce experience on mobile, and if they have a question about your product, they want to message you directly, on their schedule. That’s why integrating a chat function into your mobile site can pay big dividends.

Chat windows let your customers get quick answers without having to call customer service or type out an email. They allow you to automate answers to customers’ most frequent questions. They help your customers track their order status and get answers to questions about returns. In short, they make life easier for your customers, which is what mobile commerce is all about.

m-commerce chat box ecommerce site

And, perhaps most importantly, chat windows serve as a relationship-builder. Given the level of personalized service that live chat boxes can deliver, they’re a powerful tool for building the type of customer loyalty that outlasts pandemics and growing brand disloyalty.

Speaking of easy, Wix makes the process of setting up a chat function on your online store effortless.

05. Cater to on-the-go checkout with payment gateways

Struggling with cart abandonment issues? Creating a seamless last step in the buying process may help.

Baymard Institute research shows that optimizing checkout can increase conversions by 35 percent. Doing so is exceptionally important on mobile, where users expect one-tap transactions.

Adding a payment gateway to your eCommerce website can help boost your conversion rates and create a better customer experience. Payment gateway APIs are safe, proven solutions that integrate one-tap payment into your eCommerce site. The Wix eCommerce platform offers 50+ payment gateways worldwide, allowing your customers to pay whichever way they choose.

Bonus points for adding Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), a popular trend shoppers are embracing rapidly.

06. Think about contactless pickup and delivery optimization

If your business includes both brick-and-mortar locations and an eCommerce website, adding contactless delivery or pickup options can help you bridge the gap between the two worlds.

Services like curbside pickup and click-and-collect exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 85 percent of consumers increasing their use of such conveniences. Now, 60 percent of shoppers say a merchant’s lack of not contactless services is a deal-breaker.

curbside pickup fulfillment mobile commerce app

Adding contactless delivery and other services will help differentiate your business and keep your shoppers satisfied. Wix allows you to set store pickup as a delivery option straight from your dashboard.

Make your storefront stand out across all sizes and devices

For millions of shoppers, their mobile device has become their primary access point to your products. And the trend is only accelerating.

The more you optimize your mobile experience now, the better positioned you’ll be to capture mobile sales in the 2021 holiday season.

Download one of Wix’s 500 website templates that are coded from the ground up to offer seamless shopping experiences to your customers across all devices. Better yet, you can run and grow your eCommerce business from your mobile device itself using the Wix Owner app.

Geraldine Feehily

Bogar Alonso

Head of Outbound Marketing, Wix eCommerce

Bogar leads thought leadership and outbound marketing for Wix eCommerce. He has an extremely soft spot for all things eCommerce, retail, tech, content, and marketing.

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