Smartphones Make Retail Therapy Easier than Ever

Hide your credit cards and forget your Paypal passwords — shopping from your smartphone is about to get easier than ever. More and more online purchases are being made from mobile devices, and retailers are doing whatever they can to make the experience as effortless as possible.

Fashion retailers like Sephora, Norstrom, eBay, and Net-a-Porter are experiencing large increases in mobile sales, and Forbes reported that U.S. mobile sales are expected to reach $31 billion by 2017. As mobile devices become a major player in the e-commerce game, retailers are pouring more and more energy into creating streamlined mobile interfaces that make it easy than ever to spend (sorry, scroll). Online fashion retailer just launched a collection on their mobile site before their desktop site and eBay removed distracting ads from their apps to make shopping easier than ever. Fashionista reports that sites like Threadflip and ShopStyle are hyper-aware of the impact a good mobile experience will have on their sales and are adjusting their mobile apps accordingly: Revamping their apps' interfaces, smoothing out the checkout experience, making apps available in more languages, and looking into push notifications. A seamless mobile experience is incredibly important when it comes to online shopping; according to Mobify's list of mobile commerce statistics, not having a mobile-optimized website is like closing your store one day a week.

This all sounds like pretty good news... except if you're, like, trying to save cash or something. Sorry 'bout that one.

Some more interesting stuff that'll make you think about your purchasing habits: Mobify also reported that spontaneity is a factor in a massive 81 percent of smartphone purchases, which makes a lot of sense. You're bored on the train, surfing; you're walking away from a store and still dreaming about those shoes you didn't purchase; you check eBay and see a vintage Blondie t-shirt with thirty seconds of bidding time left. 88 percent of smartphone users agree that the ability to access realtime information makes them more spontaneous about mobile shopping and new experiences in general. Cute, right? That is, until the credit card statement comes in. Because of statistics like these, fashion retailers have to keep their apps updated or lose major business to the next mobile-savvy competitor.

An effectively personalized experience can be a very lucrative bonus for retailers: Forbes reported that 58 percent of women value a "personalized offer delivered to their smartphone while shopping in a store," as opposed to an annoying salesperson telling them about a sale — or handing them a flyer. Can you image walking past H&M and having your phone buzz with a 20 percent off coupon? Impulse buys are the wave of the retail future, so be careful where you click.