The increase in m-commerce means the risk of consumer drop off is increasing—and retailers need to shore up their user experience to respond.

What should retailers focus on next year to capitalize on the increasing number of mobile shoppers? Furthermore, are businesses prepared for mobile account openings or is the mobile process too cumbersome for consumers?

In order to capture an increasing mobile shopping and payments market for retailers, there are three key factors to ensure a painless new account opening on a mobile device: ease, effectiveness and safety.

Retailers need to offer a user friendly way to interact with applicants – for example, requiring little information from the applicant, while effectively verifying their identity to manage against fraud, in a visually mobile-friendly interface.

As we head into the next year, it’ll be important that retailers, banks, and businesses alike, address these mobile challenges to avoid missed revenue and opportunities with their customers.   

Our analysis of shopping during the most recent holiday period revealed shifts in behaviors, and the two operative themes this year are “mobile” and “extended.” More shopping and transactions are coming from mobile devices, and there's less focus on specific days such as Black Friday for higher shopping volumes.

While the account opening activity is not exactly correlated to shopping volumes, over the years we’ve noticed that these trends have traditionally been correlated. 

Evidence would now suggest that changes in the way consumers shop and purchase are potentially impacting the volume of new account application. For example, even though there was a 22% increase in sales from retail websites in 2015, the overall new account opening volumes we observed were lower in 2015 than 2014.

So, why were new account openings lower this year despite an overall increase in retail sales?

Adobe reported that nearly 60% of online shopping traffic came from mobile devices and hit a new record – a total of 34% of share of sales in 2015. Smartphones alone generated 22% of sales this year, a 70% increase compared to 2014.

Javelin Research reported that mobile interactions currently experience the highest drop-off rates compared to other channels – particularly for new enrollments and account openings.

Could challenges with cumbersome mobile account openings be the culprit in this year’s decline? With 2015 trends showing an increase in online sales, consumers may be expecting an easier digital account enrollment process, something retailers need to keep in mind as they attract consumers for shopping and payment services.

Ken Meiser is vice president of identity solutions at ID Analytics