Mobile shopping has risen to new levels since smartphones entered our world. As iPhones and Androids have become sleeker and more functional, people buy up the phones in unprecedented numbers. In 2009, people bought fewer than 21 million iPhones. In 2014, the number was 169 million. Android grew even more, with nearly four Android phones sold for every one iPhone in 2012. Globally, there were 1 billion smartphone owners by the end of 2010, and 1.5 billion by the end of 2013!

Do People Use Their Smartphone to Shop?
You might think desktop computers are still the most popular tool for online shoppers. The screen is bigger; the Internet is easier to navigate and the mouse and keyboard make searching easy. But times are changing. People are on the go   with their smartphones. As new trends and products come up in conversation, people pull out their smartphone to take a look. 2014 marked the first year in which consumers used mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) more often than computers to browse online stores. A total of 50.3% of online shopping traffic came from mobile devices (40.3% smartphones and 10% tablets) versus 49.7% of traffic from computers.

Revenue from Mobile eCommerce Sales
We ve established that people are using their smartphones and tablets to shop online, but are they also buying products from such small devices? Yes, they are. In 2010, mobile eCommerce sales totaled $2 billion. In 2014, mobile eCommerce sales totaled $50 billion. This study pulled data from more than 100 retailers, $10 billion in sales and 70 million consumers   strong evidence of the tremendous revenue produced by mobile eCommerce.

Good News for Local Businesses
A 2014 study showed that 78% of searches conducted on a mobile device for a local business lead to a purchase. This figure shows how important it is for local businesses to optimize their websites for mobile viewing. Businesses should optimize their websites for Internet searches, as well. For example, when someone searches the Internet for specific keywords that relate to your company s goods or services, your website link should be one of the first to appear on the list of results. Adding your company to Google Maps will help people easily find your physical location, as well. These simple tips will truly help to grow your business in this mobile age.

How to Go Mobile
According to most reviews, Shopify is the best platform to use. Shopify is an online solution that helps you run your business and sell goods in a mobile-friendly format. It requires no installation, running directly from the web. The very first step is registering your domain name on Shopify. If you already have a website, Shopify will integrate with it. The Basic version costs $29 per month and provides 1GB of file storage. The Professional version costs $79 per month and provides 5GB of file storage, and it adds gift card processing. The Unlimited version costs $179 per month and provides unlimited file storage as well as more reporting services. The Professional version is most likely appropriate for most businesses, with the exception of very small and very large businesses. One of Shopify s attractive features is its large selection of free themes, which are modern and trendy compared with many of the outdated free themes offered by competitors. Furthermore, every template on Shopify s platform (even the shopping cart) is mobile responsive, which is unusual. And Shopify costs less to use than many of its competitors.

Other top mobile eCommerce platforms include Volusion, Bigcommerce and GoDaddy.

  • Volusion offers many features, great security and top-notch customer service. A primary disadvantage is that many of its features are available only with higher-tiered plans. Pricing starts at $35.
  • Bigcommerce offers a unique  Bigcommerce University,  which teaches you how to design and market your online store. A primary disadvantage is that to access many features, and to avoid transaction fees, you have to purchase a higher-tiered plan. Pricing starts at $30.
  • GoDaddy does not have as many features as other platforms, but it s a great program for a basic mobile store. Its main appeal is integration with eBay. A disadvantage is that you have to purchase an SSL certificate to receive credit card transactions. Pricing starts at $50.

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