Is Your Small Business Ready for the New Mobile Customer? 3Tips to up Your Game.

The new trend in holiday shopping.

The new trend in holiday shopping.

We are headed full-steam ahead into the hectic holiday season. Holiday spending is expected to reach its highest point since the Great Recession, increasing 10 percent compared with the 2015 holiday season, according to PwC’s 2016 Holiday Outlook.Digital sales are expected to increase 25 percent and many of those purchases will be made on a mobile device.

What does this mean to your business?  If your website isn’t mobilized and user friendly, you’re most likely losing business right now.

Recently, I spoke with Amit Mathradas, PayPal’s General Manager for Small Business about how you can capture your share of this burgeoning market.

THE Small Business Expert:  From your perspective what are you seeing in terms of trends with small businesses leveraging the mobile experience?

Mathradas:  That’s a great question.  Susan, here at PayPal we are extremely fortunate to work with about 15 million small business and about 190 million plus consumers. We, at some level, sit on the forefront of seeing some of these shifts in the forms of payments and what’s happening in the market.  I can tell you one of the things that is now becoming imperative and something that is extremely important is mobile commerce as you mentioned. Today at PayPal, about 30 percent of all our transactions are now coming through mobile devices, which is a phone or a tablet, and it continues to grow.

 THE Small Business Expert:  Honestly, I was in a store recently and saw a product I loved but they didn’t have the color I wanted.  I went online and with one click I purchased it and it was delivered the next day. You can’t beat that.

Mathradas: You absolutely cannot, and a lot of retailers now are actually capitalizing on things like that which is having a limited selection in store with a much larger selection online.

THE Small Business Expert:  What are some of the biggest mistakes you’re seeing small businesses make when it comes to capitalizing on opportunities in the mobile marketplace?

Mathradas:  There are three things that we constantly educate our small business merchants around. One is building a better experience on mobile. The number one complaint that consumers have when using a mobile device is, in fact a third of consumers who use and shop on mobile devices complain about it being too small. About a third of them saying the biggest challenge they have is they have to constantly zoom in to the pages or the pages are very slow to load. Both of those, Susan, is because the website that they’re using was designed for a desktop and not a mobile device. The number one thing we often tell our merchants is move to a mobile-ready website. There are a number of partners that we work with such as Big Commerce, Magento, and others out there in the market that offer you a mobile-ready website. What that does is it tracks the source of where your traffic is coming from, whether it’s a desktop or a mobile device, and alters your site to fit on that device and really work well with what the consumer wants.

THE Small Business Expert:  What about the ease of use?

Mathradas:   The other big piece around shopping on mobile is you have to have a very simple and a very intuitive checkout process. People on their phones don’t want to be fumbling with inputting a lot of data, looking for where you add the address or credit card information, especially if you’re somewhere outside holding a credit card in one hand and a phone in the other. Things that PayPal has done, there is a product that we launched called mobile website design.