Why ecommerce sites need to handle mobile payments

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Why ecommerce sites need to handle mobile payments

More than 70% of Australians use mobile devices to make payments, according to a new survey.

Research suggests a growing number of people are using their smartphones for online shopping, so you may be leaving money on the table if your ecommerce site makes it difficult or inconvenient for them to pay.

It's been more than a year since we reported the importance of making your website mobile-friendly. But even if your own site caters for the needs of mobile users, things can still fall apart at the checkout if the payment page - which may not be under your direct control - doesn't play nice with small screens.

A recent survey of nearly 1000 Australians conducted by Roy Morgan Research for PayPal's mCommerce Index found 71 percent use their mobile devices to make payments. Yet only 49 percent of online business have optimised their sites for mobile payments.

Perhaps not surprisingly, 26 percent of online businesses say they make no sales to mobile devices. An example of "if you don't build it, they won't come"?

This is a particular issue for businesses aiming at younger customers. The research found 85 percent of smartphone users aged 18-34 buy via mobile.

Since a majority of adult Australian smartphone users shop online with their devices (73 percent of 35-49s and 52 percent of over-50s), it seems crazy to ignore their behaviour.

We're guessing that PayPal's payment pages are already optimised for mobile use, but if you use a different payment processor and theirs isn't, it's probably time to ask when they are going to get around to making the necessary changes.

PayPal's mCommerce Index report is available for download.

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