mCommerce Is Here To Stay

The stats speak for themselves.

  • There are 6.2 million smartphone users in the UK, 2 million using iPhones and growing
  • Mobile accounts for 12.59% of UK web traffic
  • 10% of online UK purchases from mobile users already
  • 10 million UK consumers purchased via mobile last year

The stats go on and on. Consumer habits are changing, 24 / 7 access to sites, apps, products and information are changing the way consumers think and buy, and when they research and purchase. Their expectations are high and ease of use is essential, yet many retailers and service businesses are not moving quickly to capitalize on this changing behaviour, in fact only 12% of retailers have a m-commerce strategy in place.

Those using mobile devices out and about often have an immediate need which needs to satisfied quickly.  Alternatively, the user may be tri or quad screening,  (using your phone, whilst watching tv and surfing on you ipad or laptop) and be researching or purchasing having had a need triggered from another source. Consumers are wanting to interact with you from whichever device is the quickest and easiest for them. The question is: are you making it easy for them?

Over the Pond

Apple launches its products over in the States first and it would be expected that pioneering use should follow suit. Many fmcg brands are using mobile devices as the channel of choice to run competitions and to offer better customer service and product information. We’ve picked out a few examples for you to see what’s happening over the water.

  • US Open, 20-25% of Google searches were occuring on mobiles, so a dedicated mobile site has been built for easy ticket purchase
  • Burger chain Five Guys has an iPhone app which allows customers to order food on their phone and skip the queue
  • Outdoor specialists Cabela have an app to be used in store which includes barcode scanning and purchase to keep consumers shopping on their phones whilst in store within the brand
  • HSN TV shopping channel have customer customisable apps and dedicated sites for purchase anywhere, and direct access to videos and product content
  • offers a mobile app where you can buy products and check the weather reports to work out the level of frizz your hair may experience
  • Quaker Oats: QR codes to redeem a personalised message from a pop star for their kids
  • The University Co-Op, Texas, launched an app to sell its university merchandise to students

Mobile on your doorstep

We’re not so far behind in the UK, stores, magazines and tickets can all be purchased via mobile devices but the optimisation of websites and dedicated mobile sites should be considered by all businesses, not just larger ones.

Here’s a small selection we like that’s happening in the UK:

  • Ticket purchase via app, e.g. Virgin Trains, Aer Lingus which includes mobile check in.
  • Tesco’s trialling wifi in 4 stores
  • Sainsbury’s trialling trolleys with inbuilt iPad holders and speakers in West London, the trolley beeps when you get too close to another trolley
  • Best Buy has launched a dedicated mobile site, they’re expecting 10% of online orders to come from its mobile site within the next 2 years
  • Viator ahave an iPhone app for on the go and iPad app for armchair browsers of tourist attractions, activities and special offers, all geo-targeted
  • Domino’s launched an iPad app which took £10 million in the first 8 months

There’s an expectation of consumers that since they can search on a mobile device, they’ll be able to find what they want, and that the site (or app) will work and do what they want it to do. Presenting content on a mobile device is a new channel for all and as such, a much more level playing field is available for small business competing with larger, more established businesses. Competitive advantage can be attained, and the rewards have the potential to be huge.

When should you be investing in mobile?

There are various indicators that can help you make your business case to assign resource to a mobile strategy.

1. Within your website analytics, look at the number of mobile visitors your site has. Take in careful consideration the bounce rate and page views to give you an indication of how well your mobile visitors are navigating your site.

2. With your email service provider look at how many people are opening your emails on their mobiles. Those opening on a mobile are more than likely clicking through on their mobiles.

3. Take the user journey yourself on a smart phone. Would you purchase? Or, given a competitor’s site, would you prefer to purchase from them?

These actions will give you your business case and need for a mobile strategy. There are varying options with various levels of commitment and cost, mobile commerce is not cost prohibitive. You can always talk to us about your options, or come along to our mCommerce seminar on 2nd November in London. logo

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