Mobile devices are winning the Internet race by a nose, according to ComScore. Their data indicates Canadians are accessing the Internet using their tablet or smartphone 51% of the time, slightly passing computer/laptop access at 49%. Approximately 5% of Canadians only use mobile devices. Not surprisingly, mobile is expected to continue leading the pack by an increasing rate through 2015. How Canadians use the Web is changing too, as 80% leave browsers behind in favour of apps.
Usage doesn’t necessarily reflect online shopping trends, however, and Canadians have been hesitant to shop with their mobile devices so far. They’re certainly getting there though, making it all that much more important for companies to optimize for mobile, as well as integrating mobile for the ultimate omni-channel experience. “Omni-channel” or “multi-channel” retailing refers to a seamless shopping experience with in-store, mobile device, computer, catalogue, flyers, etc. Google Canada’s 2014 Holiday Shopper survey predicted 59% of Canadians would use their SmartPhone to shop during the 2014 holiday season, up an astounding 50% from last year.
“Ecommerce as a percentage of total retail is still below 10%. I think that’s going to change this year,” predicts Harley Finkelstein, Chief Platform Officer at Shopify Canada. “You’re going to see a lot more traditional retailers that haven’t previously sold online, and also makers – people creating physical products – that will begin to create their own online stores and go directly to consumers.”
Consumers can still use their mobile for shopping even if they don’t trust it enough to make their final purchase. They can research products, look for sales and grab coupons, or opt for in-store pick-up/payment. Canadian shoppers also use their mobile devices to interact with businesses, be that via eMail, social media, or brand app’s. Serving the demands of mobile consumers has become easier as services spring up to facilitate them. Brands can now utilize software to easily create their own iPhone app, for example.
In their book, The Mobile Commerce Revolution: Business Success in a Wireless World, Tim Hayden and Tom Webster write, “Consumer attention is dissipating, screens are getting smaller, and information is accessible from the pockets of the majority of the World. With that level of connectivity and communications only broadening, you must solve problems and make decisions more quickly, entertain consumers quickly, regardless of their screens’ size, and provide customers with delight at a moment’s notice.”
What’s more, search engines recognize mobile-friendly sites these days and that means those sites enjoy a serious advantage in search results. Visit search websites to find out what they’re looking for in a mobile-friendly business website, such as the Google Mobile SEO page.
Canadian businesses are still scrambling to catch up with eCommerce in general, but many will now include m-commerce as they enter online business. Combining two steps into one will see us catching up that much faster. Companies are also utilizing full-service eCommerce options like Shopify to become instantly eCommerce and mobile-friendly, without having to sweat the details.
Are you ready for a mobile Canada? Please share your comments below.
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Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In over 20 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and eCommerce websites.
Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.