Mobile devices are driving many
modern retail purchases.
Just a few years ago when the original iPhone launched, smartphones were generally only used by business executives and tech-savvy consumers. Now, seemingly everyone has these devices. In 2013, smartphone penetration rates crossed the 50 percent mark and now more than 65 percent of mobile subscribers in the United States own these devices
, according to comScore.
Retailers must react to mobile trends if they want to continue to best serve their customers. Although many people still prefer shopping through online stores and in brick-and-mortar shops, the convenience factor of quickly breaking out a smartphone and making a purchase is too much for many customers to ignore. Retailers not taking the steps to cater to mobile shoppers will find themselves losing out on sales.
As Multichannel Merchant noted, mobile should be treated as a complementary channel,
although it can be a standalone shopping avenue as well. Still, many people are using their phones as shopping companions, leveraging them to find reviews, nearby store locations or discounts and otherwise researching purchases. Retailers can capitalize on this trend by leveraging their customer information and making item suggestions that can easily be viewed while in-store or online.
Although smartphones are often the center of the mobile shopping movement, merchants must also realize that tablets are quickly becoming critical platforms as well. In fact, many consumers actively use their tablets just as they would a desktop PC, although it generally tends to be more for relaxed research than actually completing a purchase. Future mobile devices may further expand the boundaries of shopping while on the go.
"Nanotechnology is allowing any object to become smart, either wearable or everyday objects, such as a jacket, a hat, headphones or even glasses," the news source added.
As retailers look to make the omnichannel retailing
experience revolve around customers, it's growing increasingly important for merchants to incorporate mobile devices.