5 Themes for small e-commerce businesses in 2013 – Theme 2 – Mobile

In the second blog in the series of 5 we examine the second theme from the Sagepay report on e-Commerce for 2013, Mobile

For 2013 five themes were identified that small e-businesses should be focusing on right now. These are

  1. Social
  2. Mobile
  3. Fraud
  4. PCI Compliance
  5. International Trade


Mobile has now reached the tipping point with 73% of our large business respondents having a website optimised for mobile browsing and 22% developing an app. If you don’t have a mobile strategy, now is the time to get one. We give you an inside look at what our large business respondents are doing and examine how smaller businesses can replicate this success.

an optimal approach?

Among the e-businesses we surveyed, almost three quarters (73%) have chosen to optimise their sites for mobile and tablet browsing. Importantly, they are seeing comparable results in terms of transactions to those building native apps. They too see 56% of sales falling between 0% and 9%. They see slightly fewer sales (22%) in the10% to 19% bracket. But they see a higher proportion of transactions (16%) in the20% to 39% range than their app- focused competitors.

going native

In this year’s survey we see that 22% of large e-businesses now have a mobile app. More importantly, they are seeing healthy revenues coming from them. A quarter of companies are realising between 10% and 19% of their transactions via their apps and a further 13% are seeing between 20% and 39%.

measuring the cost

The most common amount spent on developing an app is between £500 and £1,000 (44% of respondents). This is comparable to the 48% of companies spending that amount on optimising their sites. However, if we look a little more widely, cost differences do appear. If we examine the proportion of e-businesses that spend under £1,000 on either option we find that 59% manage to develop an app, while a massive 82% succeed in mobile- optimising their site.

what next?

Ultimately, however you tackle mobile commerce, one thing is clear: ensuring you are able to take advantage of the mobile opportunity is becoming increasingly critical even for smaller e-businesses. Given the relative costs (and our respondents’ stated results), the first step for any small e-business is to optimise their existing site for mobile.It needn’t cost the earth and can deliver valuable results.

apps vs optimisation

Any e-business approaching the m-commerce opportunity faces one decision very early – do we build an app or do we simply optimise our website? The answer is: it depends.


 native app  mobile optimisation
 iF it’s successful, you can get greater loyalty from customers as it is easy to stay within a single app (and more difficult to go elsewhere). You also create ‘stickier’ customers with your app acting as a constant visual reminder of your brand.  While a mobile-optimised site is preferable for mobile customers, there is nothing stopping them going to other sites.
 Appeals to a smaller yet more engaged audience.  Can reach more customers without the up-front effort of downloading an app.
 Can be relatively expensive to develop.  Is generally significantly lower cost to develop.
 May require approval to get listed in the relevant app stores.  No approval required.
 Generally, native apps work faster and can deliver richer overall functionality.  It can be more difficult to deliver comparable performance on optimised sites as they rely on a mobile internet connection for all functionality.
 Developing an app can future-proof your e-business (based on the number of e-businesses looking to create apps).  This is the ‘here and now’ as currently more transactions are coming via this channel.