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e-Commerce Industry News


July 7, 2014
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Mobile is a necessity to keep up with customer expectations
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July 7, 2014
SKUTEST-1
Mobile is key to improving the shopping experience. Mobile is key to improving
the shopping experience.

It's no secret that many merchants are embracing mobile devices in a variety of ways, whether it's developing an app, optimizing their websites for the smaller screens of smartphones or stationing tablets around their stores to improve the brick-and-mortar shopping experience. In fact, one study conducted by Forrester Research found that as many as 53 percent of retailers said mobile would be a top priority this year as they looked to improve their omnichannel retailing initiatives.

So, what's driving the integration of mobile into the shopping experience? Although these tools do offer a plethora of business opportunities to merchants and enable them to increase revenue and engage new prospects, one of the biggest reasons is simply because the consumer demand is there. People have grown accustomed to utilizing smartphones and tablets in their everyday lives, so it only makes sense they'd incorporate these tools into their shopping journeys.

An infographic produced by Shop.org noted the significant growth of mobile devices over the course of the past year. More than 150 million Americans now own these devices and in the United States, mobile commerce accounts for 9 percent of total digital sales. This figure is growing rapidly, with year-over-year sales lifts for smartphones and tablets observed at 113 percent and 86 percent, respectively.

Following in the steps of the successful
Smartphones and tablets have existed for years now, but many merchants are still working out a place for these devices in broader shopping initiatives. Several retailers are finding unique ways to leverage mobile that enrich and enhance the overall shopping experience.

Shop.org noted some of the ways retailers have implemented mobile into their omnichannel retailing efforts:

  • Responsive design: Every smartphone and tablet has different screen specifications, which can make it difficult to design pages for these devices. This is why more merchants are using responsive design to optimize their eCommerce sites for whatever device the shopper is using.
  • Greater personalization: Retailers can use data to truly personalize the shopping experience, sending relevant discounts to in-store shoppers as they walk by specific items based on purchase history.
  • Quicker payments: Some retailers have turned to smartphone-based payment options that allows customers to quickly tap their phones against a receiver to pay for products.
  • Bigger savings: Clipping coupons can be time-consuming. Digital coupons can be sent straight to customers based on purchase history, ensuring discounts are relevant and always available.

Some of the most successful retailers are seeing above average results from their efforts in the mobile arena. In some cases, half of merchants' digital traffic is generated from mobile devices. In other instances, they've seen a sharp uptick in people using the retail app in-store. The benefits of embracing mobile are clear.

Support mobile eCommerce
Mobile represents yet another sales channel for retailers, so it's important that merchants are able to manage it in tandem with their other engagement avenues. Consistency is a major factor for customers and even slight discrepancies across these channels can result in frustration.

Deloitte recently noted that while retailers are generally more conservative when it comes to implementing new tools, they really need to explore pertinent solutions to improve the omnichannel shopping experience.