Commentary

MCommerce Leaders Double Up And Pull Ahead -- Have You Left It Too Late?

The research is in and the results are conclusive, at least for 18- to-34-year-olds. At least one in ten buy something on the mobile phone every day, which is double the national average, and the propensity to embrace mcommerce is linked to social use. Thus, while 17% of the population have brought something on their mobile device, that proportion doubles for Facebook users and goes up to around one in two Instagram users and two in three Snapchat.

it makes sense, then, that people are more willing to buy on the mobile phone and see it as an everyday part of life if their smartphone is the tool through which they fill their spare time posting updates and photos for friends and relatives to see.

However, what wasn't so widely reported, in covering Criteo's latest Mobile Commerce Report, is that if the figures released today are making you stand up and take notice, you're already late to the party. Those retailers and brands that are good at mcommerce are already seeing a doubling in mcommerce revenue to a point where the channel is approaching parity with the desktop. Furthermore, the majority of mcommerce is being completed through apps, suggesting that shoppers are going back to brands they trust and which offer a simple, intuitive process on an app, rather than searching widely and using a series of Web browser tabs to narrow down potential purchases.

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So the advice from the researchers is pretty straightforward, but certainly worth repeating. Personalising the shopping process through sophisticated use of cross-device tracking is essential because more than a third of mcommerce conversions come about through a combination of devices. Apps should also seek to reduce the barriers to making a transaction as much as possible for the very obvious reason that shoppers want a reduction in friction on mobile. 

The warning from the researchers is that brands are already approaching a point where they could be too late to the party because 2015 was a year of great experimentation and knowledge gathering and 2016, they suggest, is going to be a time of implementing and using last year's lessons to boost mobile revenue further.

So, if you don't have a mobile app that can personalise a shopper's journey, based on cross-device tracking -- and which also makes it simple and browse and then purchase -- it really is time to be catching up. The guys who are good at this are already pulling way ahead of the field, and being left behind doesn't look like a great place to be. 

This column was originally published in the London Blog on June 20, 2016.
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