While buying from a mobile device continues to inch upward, mobile continues to permeate the entire purchase process.
While a relatively small number of purchases happen on smartphones, mobile is having a substantial impact in the entire shopping process, as detailed in a story in this issue of the mCommerce Daily.
With savvy mobile shoppers checking inventory and prices on-the-fly, merchants need to manage data across all sites and devices, suggests research company Forrester, noting that smartphone and tablet sales now account for about 20% of all online sales.
Although many focus on where the actual purchase transaction occurs, such as via smartphone, tablet or online, a broader perspective should consider the entire path to purchase in the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle.
Thanks to mobile, consumers are shopping all the time, not just when they go to a physical store or online.
And every merchant, no matter the product, is being impacted.
For example, as my colleague Karl Greenberg reports from the NADA auto show today (Showrooming Comes to Actual Showrooms, Auto Dealers Brace), the majority (63%) of shoppers visiting dealer lots researched and shopped online while at dealerships. A majority (51%) used mobile devices to search for information around price, payments and offers and about a third (30%) checked inventory.
While an actual car purchase transaction may occur at a physical dealership in a physical building, the impact of mobile on the entire shopping process can be profound.
Mobile-armed shoppers have a decisive edge, with instant access to an infinite amount information around products, pricing and both online and in-store availability.The sales transaction today is now just one component in the course of the mobile shopping process.