I’ve adopted an emerging description for the “e” in e-Commerce - it stands for everywhere. Today, you can purchase products and services from the Web using a PC, a portable device like iPad, your mobile phone, or even from T.V.!
Small business owners must think of all the ways customers can and would purchase from you and be there. It’s a bit daunting. Don’t feel like you must adopt them all, but find out where your customers are and what they use, and make that available to them.
Portable and mobile device usage stats (2012):
- The largest category of products purchased via a mobile phone were apps or other digital content (ringtones, music, video clips, games)
- The second largest category for shopping via mobile was consumer electronics followed by computers, electronic equipment, books and finally clothing.
- 35% of U.S. Web-enabled mobile phone owners said they had participated in some form of mobile shopping in the past year.
- 20% of email sent by retailers is opened on a mobile device.
source: Internet Retailer
- 30.1% of mobile subscribers used their phones to browse the Internet
- 18.7% of mobile subscribers used their phones to access a site, blog or social network.
source: comScore May 2010
I couldn’t find any concrete stats on how many people actually made purchases using their mobile devices. But given the nearly 80% of us that now have smartphones, it must be significant.
Mobile e-Commerce providers:
Square – app and device for accepting credit cards using your mobile device (iPhone, iPad, Android) ~FREE~. Details at Squareup.com.
Payvment – app/plug-in for Facebook that allows you to create a storefront for your page ~FREE~. Details at Payvment.com
Paypal – Commerce with or without a Web site. Send money, get money, email invoices for payment accept credit cards online or by phone. ~FREE~. Some comprehensive Web site merchant services do have fees, but the account and many services are at no cost. Details at PayPal.
PayPal has released its own version of a mobile payment device, PayPal Here. Like the Square device, you use it with an app on your smartphone or iPad-type device.
Other e-Commerce providers:
Zen cart – really robust small business Web site e-commerce ~FREE~. Details at ZenCart.com
1 Shopping Cart – ~Low Cost~. Details at 1ShoppingCart.com.