Commentary

Serving Mobile Shoppers: Getting Past the Why

With the new year well underway, more retail research studies are coming out pointing to the enormous opportunity in mobile commerce.

The good news for merchants is that store sales are projected to increase a bit (4%) this year, according to the national Retail Federation, which shows online sales increasing up to 12%.

And an increasing number of online sales are coming from mobile devices.

Many retailers seem poised to respond with mobile initiatives. More than half of retailers identify mobile efforts as a top priority, according to a recent survey of retailers by Forrester Research for Shop.org.

And with good reason: smartphone revenue more than doubled from the previous year with more than one in five sales coming from a smartphone or tablet, according to the survey.

Mobile shoppers are shopping all the time, as we’ve regularly discussed here (Mobile Shopping Life Cycle), which Nielsen also points out in a recent study suggesting that retailers need to evolve to stay ahead to keep consumers engaged.

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That study suggests that retailers need to stand out to attract value-focused shoppers.

One way to accomplish this to create a coherent mobile-shopping experience that leverages mobile connectivity throughout the shopping process.

This includes reaching consumers and providing value as they shop in stores.

The why is somewhat obvious. Consumers expect to spend more time in stores this year and more than one in five plans to spend more in stores, according to a new survey by Accenture.

That same study found that many (40%) see a need for retailers to improve the in-store shopping experience.

Past studies have shown that in-store shoppers prefer using their smartphone for research rather than dealing with sales associates.

This retailers who win will have moved past the why to engage in-store shoppers via mobile and will be well on the road to experimenting with and deploying the how

2 comments about "Serving Mobile Shoppers: Getting Past the Why".
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  1. Sherry Thomas-zon from Krillion, March 14, 2014 at 5:58 p.m.

    Chuck, you’re exactly right. Our research, conducted with the etailing group, shows that 72% of those surveyed used their smartphone or tablet for an informational search prior to making a purchase at a local retail store (and large chain retailers are included in that - not just smaller local stores). Mobile has transformed retail forever - giving consumers instant access to product data, pricing, and even product availability at local retail stores.

    The retailers that will succeed and grow are the ones who embrace this new retail experience and work hard to offer as much mobile data as possible - well beyond retail locations and store hours. Consumers want access to product data, pricing, product availability, and coupons.

    “Purchase intent” is a term used a lot by digital marketers. When a consumer is minutes away from your store, searching for product info and availability, there’s not much stronger purchase intent than that. The retailers that figure out compelling ways to hook those shoppers and turn mobile searches into brick-and-mortar purchases will win big.

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, March 14, 2014 at 6:06 p.m.

    Thanks, Sherry, tough to state it any better than you just did.

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