As people are spending more time on
their smartphones and on the Web, retailers
should ensure they are offering an
optimal Web-based shopping experience.
If there was ever any doubt that online stores can provide retailers with an incredible opportunity to engage customers, new research conducted by Nielsen in anticipation of the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona should eliminate any naysayers
. According to the report, the average American spends upwards of 60 hours every month on their smartphones and computers, and this figure is constantly on the rise.
When it comes to the split between the Internet and mobile devices, 26 hours and 58 minutes are spent online whereas 34 hours and 21 minutes are devoted to mobile device usage. Although consumers could be doing any number of tasks during that timeframe, retail is likely one of the more common activities.
"... In the U.S., frequency of smartphone owners accessing apps and mobile sites increased from less than five sessions per day in December 2012, to an average of at least seven daily sessions using their smartphones at the end of 2013," the Nielsen report added. "So what activities are keeping consumers' fingers glued to their smartphone screens? Apps make up the lion's share of time spent using smartphones, led by the growth in time spent using apps for entertainment and media."
People are using the Web and mobile devices for a number of different shopping activities, ranging from basic research to actually making purchases. A separate study conducted by Nielsen found that nearly one-third of of smartphone users leverage these devices for shopping-related activities, while a Forrester study suggested that approximately two-thirds of all sales are influenced by the Internet in one way or another.
Making online stores a central part of omnichannel operations
Although brick-and-mortar is still the backbone of most retail efforts, there is no doubt the Internet is playing a larger role. Whether by smartphone, tablet or desktop computer, shoppers with any Web-enabled device can access online stores to make purchases.
It's critical that retailers make the Web a part of the broader omnichannel retailing
experience. The Internet can act as both a starting point in the shopping process and the end point. The most successful merchants will be those that utilize this flexibility to create an engaging journey that allows customers to shop how they want, when they want.