Smartphone shopping boom leaving London SMEs behind

London’s SMEs are losing sales by not offering websites that adapt for easy use on smartphones.

 When it comes to smartphone shopping, new findings show that there is a vast gap between consumer expectations and what SMEs provide. Now in its third year, PayPal’s mobile commerce research shows that, while 9 out of 10 small businesses with mobile websites think that they are meeting customer expectations by providing a seamless online experience, only 4 out of 10 consumers agree.

Despite the fact that there has been a significant rise in the number of people buying on mobile at least once a week (42 per cent for over 35s, 65 per cent for consumers aged 25–34), it remains a blind spot for small businesses.

SMEs in London are particularly bad, with just 13 per cent offering mobile-friendly websites – a 4 per cent drop since last year. This is despite the capital also being the top global city for mobile transactions.

Commenting on the findings, Nicola Longfield, Director of Small Business at PayPal UK, says: “With people increasingly shopping on their mobile phones, small businesses need to wake up to the fact that there is still a large gap between what customers want, and what they are receiving. If websites remain difficult to use, small businesses will simply miss out on sales.

“There are relatively easy fixes that business owners can make to get more mobile sales. For instance, offering mobile-friendly payment options like PayPal, so that customers don’t have to enter lengthy card details, and formatting websites for scrolling without needing to zoom in can make a huge difference.”

PayPal’s mobile experts offer three top tips for SMEs looking to sell on mobile:

  • Small screen, big results: 47 per cent of consumers admit to having abandoned mobile purchases because the experience was too slow or difficult. Making sure your website is easy and quick to use on small screens will cut down on lost sales.
  • Need for speed: Almost a third (32 per cent) of shoppers opt for mobile over any other device because of the speed of use. Offering a quick and simple way to pay, speeds up the checkout process and can turn browsers into buyers.
  • Trust pays off: 56 per cent of mobile shoppers say they are more likely to purchase from websites that offer a recognised payment method.

At Beavis Morgan, our business specialists are committed to providing entrepreneurial retailers with an understanding of the key issues driving the retail sector. Working in partnership with our technology business experts, we are well positioned to provide retailers with the most appropriate solutions to improve operational efficiency.

In the age of digital, those businesses who do not invest, reinvent and remain current, run the risk of failure. Don’t let that happen to your SME business.

Find out more about how we can assist. Contact Steve Govey or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner.