I’ve found myself getting quite annoyed several times over the last few weeks when I tried to pay for goods and services of various types, only to be told by the business supplying them that they ‘don’t do PayPal’.
On each occasion this has happened, I felt the need to deliver a stern lecture regarding the folly of not providing the PayPal option to customers, simply because it is a key mobile commerce (mCommerce) option most online customers expect and demand of small business providers. However, I refrained, because I know from experience that no one likes to be lectured.
It was shortly after this experience that I reviewed the Paypal Mcommerce Index Inaugural Report published September 20, 2016. The report clearly reinforces what I have been telling my members for quite some time now; that mCommerce adoption across all Australian customer demographics is very high, with an estimated 71 per cent using their smart phone to make payments.
Unfortunately however, only 49 per cent of small businesses that have an online presence are set up to accept mobile payments, which means the 51 per cent majority that aren’t are missing out on a huge opportunity to increase their annual revenues.
And when I say a huge opportunity, I’m not exaggerating, with the Report finding that up to 73 per cent of Australians who make mobile payments spend up to $330 monthly, with 22 percent spending up to $500 monthly and 11 per cent spending over $1,000 monthly. I’m sure most small business operators would dearly love to access their fair share of this mCommerce pie.
However, of those small business operators that do accept mobile payments, many haven’t quite got it right yet, with up to 54 per cent of the Report’s respondents complaining they are frequently confronted by too many form fields to complete or other user interface issues that make mobile payments excessively challenging.
The Report also reveals the emergence of Social Commerce in Australia, with 11 per cent of those Australians surveyed indicating that they have purchased goods or services from businesses through social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
This is a very important trend for small business operators to note, as social media is proving to be an increasingly powerful channel for driving purchasing behaviour, with 18 per cent of Australians surveyed indicating that they purchased something after seeing it on social media, a figure that jumps to 24 per cent for the 18 to 34 age demographic.
Once again however, small business is largely unaware of the huge potential in Social Commerce opportunities, with 89 per cent of businesses stating they have no intention of accepting payments via social platforms within the next six months. This too however is another huge selling opportunity that goes begging, and needlessly so when one realises that the implementation of Social Commerce is not that difficult to achieve.
Facebook for example, which the majority of small businesses do have, acts as a powerful referral tool when used correctly, with the capacity to drive healthy volumes of ‘qualified’ traffic to websites for subsequent conversion.
In fact, for those small businesses selling products via an online store for example, Facebook make Social Commerce capability even easier by allowing operators to add a Shop section to their pages, powerfully showcasing products and directing shoppers straight to corresponding website checkouts.
A classic example of effective Social Commerce is action is those of my clients who sell women’s fashion. One client in particular who comes to mind posts images of new stock items that arrive in-store on her Facebook page, along with text that ties those items to an appropriate occasion such as the upcoming Melbourne Cup day.
Within minutes, followers begin to ask questions about the items, either in the Comments section or by using the Call Now button provided. These posts ate also extensively shared, thus bringing potential new customers into the equation. Many of these followers end up in-store to try the items on and ultimately make a purchase.
However, the value of Social Commerce is not restricted to just the fashion industry, as I see it also work very effectively for many other client industries including those related to weddings, beauty, health and fitness, photography, events management and even specialty baked goods.
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I therefore recommend that you now sit down and seriously evaluate your mCommerce and Social Commerce functions, if you have any at all, and in particular, consider the following five (5) points:
- If you don’t offer PayPal as a payment option for your customers, I suggest you seriously consider doing so now
- Make sure your website is easy to navigate and use on smartphones, i.e. is fully mobile responsive
- Make sure any payment system you implement on your website, e.g. PayPal, is easy for customers to access and operate on their smartphones
- Consider the various ways you can use your social media channels to more effectively showcase the products and services you offer
- Make sure the integration between your social media pages and your website is thorough and seamless
WordPress Warrior Australia
MIC, MCP, MCT, MOS, PRINCE2