Mobile devices and payment applications are quickly transforming the relationship between consumers and retailers. Building upon the multi-billion-dollar eCommerce industry, mobile commerce is expected to grow significantly in coming years.
But while mobile commerce technology has been available for over 10 years, most companies (online retailers especially) have only leveraged mobile as a complement to their online and paper catalogues. As more and more consumers look to their smart phones and tablets for all their purchases, retailers will need to fully embrace the changes these devices bring to the eCommerce landscape.
1. Mobile Shoppers are Powerful Shoppers
Mobile technology has given consumers the power to browse and purchase anytime, anywhere. While the advent of online commerce ushered in the era of shopping from the comfort of your home or office, the proliferation of mobile devices has brought a new toolbox to connected consumers.
Shoppers can now use mobile devices for onsite product comparisons at retail stores, letting them check reviews and prices before making a final decision. The convenience of mobile commerce has also translated to a market for direct mobile payment systems like NFC (near field communications), mobile wallets, and mobile apps. While the mobile payment landscape is still fairly new, mobile payment transactions are expected to exceed $170 billion by 2015.
2. Optimized Sites Are An Expectation, Not An Add-On
Despite driving a huge amount of revenue and traffic, only a small percentage of retailers have websites optimized for mobile shoppers. This is a critical blind spot, because even though your company may not have an official mobile strategy, consumers will still be browsing your website on mobile devices – and they will judge it accordingly.
Consumers expect intuitive, hassle-free browsing, and if your company doesn’t deliver, shoppers will move on to a retailer that can. Mobile sites are becoming a business necessity for eCommerce merchants, a trend that has led some eTailers to even bypass traditional website design in favor of mobile optimization.
3. Mobile Thieves Will Follow The Money
It is undeniable that mobile is having a huge impact on eCommerce, but the mobile landscape is still highly fragmented – opening the door to numerous security concerns. According to a recent MasterCard study, 53% of US adults surveyed said they were concerned about the security of their mobile transactions.
As more and more money is spent via mobile devices, the risk of data breaches and identity theft increases significantly. What’s worse is that most third party applications and mobile add-ons have not been thoroughly checked for security holes, which hackers can and do exploit to steal personal data. Another issue that arises is the high probability of a device being lost or stolen; unsecured mobile payment options could be very dangerous in the wrong hands.
Merchants should use PCI DSS compliance and website scanning services like the McAfee SECURE™ trustmark on their mobile sites, just as they use them on their traditional websites, to help protect their customer information.
The true impact of mobile devices on the eCommerce landscape is yet to be seen, but as the industry continues to grow, online retailers must pay attention. Organizations will need to adapt their business model to better serve customers, and a secure, optimized mobile site is key.
For more information how McAfee can help protect your business, visit the McAfee SECURE website, and be sure to follow us on Twitter at @McAfeeSECURE for the latest on eCommerce news, resources and events.