4 Key Insights on Mobile Shopping in Today's Digital World

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80% of internet users own a smartphone. In today's fast-paced digital world, consumers crave freedom and flexibility - gone are the days when people sit chained to a desktop computer day in day out - in these modern times, people make decisions, consume content, and carry out mobile shopping on the move.

It's safe to say that in 2017, and beyond, mobile is going to be essential to the marketing efforts of any brand, business, or organisation looking to engage with their target audience and sell their products. A recent report from WBR Digital revealed a host of intriguing insights about mobile shopping and its role in the modern world. Let's take a look at the four key findings.

Adopting a Mobile-First Mentality

Mobile is very much front-of-mind for retailers today. It’s an easy way to shop, and, enabled by significantly improved computing power, is now also an increasingly successful sales channel.

Once upon a time, phones and tablets were used mainly for window shopping, but today, the percentage of transactions completed via mobile devices is on the rise. Despite the growing importance and opportunities mobile presents, many retailers are still perfecting the mobile strategies needed to turn browsers into buyers.

It’s difficult to over-invest in when it comes to mobile, as usage, especially among 16 - 24-year-olds, is constantly on the rise. According to WBR's report, 41% of leading executives believe they have implemented a mobile-first mentality with a further 49% ‘working on it.'

Adopting a mobile-first mentality is the way forward for the brands and businesses of today, and indeed tomorrow. Investing in training, education, tech, and overall user experience are the key ingredients to long-term digital success, and those who don't put their mobile hats risk falling behind, or worse.

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The Big m-Commerce challenges

As prosperous as mobile promises to be for those who pay attention, the path to enlightenment does come with its challenges; six to be precise:

●      Struggling to track customer online behaviour: Customers now use multiple touch points during their purchasing path, so it can be difficult for retailers to understand which device or channel is the best to communicate news, deals, and offers. This challenge applies in particular to millennials, who are native multichannel shoppers.

●      Lack of in-house mobile talent: As mentioned, businesses are striving to adopt a mobile-first mentality, however, creating the most compelling mobile experiences means having the right people working behind the scenes. To make sure they can deliver a first-class user experience, businesses are now looking for ways to make themselves more attractive to graduates looking start their careers.

●      Mobile conversion rates: Until now, smartphones and tablets have primarily been used to research potential purchases, with the final transaction carried out on a desktop. This trend is starting to shift. But, friction rates at the checkout on mobile devices remain high, so companies must make payments as safe, secure and seamless as possible if they want to increase their mobile conversion rates.

●      Technology and systems: The speed of mobile evolution far exceeds the rate at which organisations can update their existing systems. Companies with heavy legacy systems are searching for the most efficient ways to integrate or to bolt on new technologies that can help drive mobile sales. That said, this must be managed carefully, as it has the potential to cause unwanted friction, and possibly even end up hindering a purchase.

●      Company culture: Retailers may find it hard to convince board members about mobile's ROI. For one thing, mobile's often seen as an influencer on the path to purchase, and rarely a converter. Moreover, few people have nailed down an attribution model that can accurately weigh the influence of mobile. Challenging these kinds of presuppositions at executive level is fundamental to staying ahead of the pack, and winning new business amongst millennials.

●      Payment options: Payments should be at the core of m-Commerce strategy, but getting this vital stage of the checkout journey right is easier said than done. One big challenge for retailers is considering cultural preferences when it comes to payment options – and while a German shopper may prefer an invoice, an Indian might like to pay in cash. Being sensitive and nimble enough to respond to these local preferences is the key to mobile success.


Apps and Abandonment

Apps account for 89% of mobile media time, with the other 11% spent on websites. That's an astounding number of people using branded apps; consumers that you have the potential to convert.

Among the 100 executives surveyed by WBR Digital, 75% stated that their company has a dedicated mobile app. What's more, among those who said yes, 55% confirmed their business has two mobile apps in operation.

52% of the retailers surveyed by WBR said they provide at least one hybrid app. Hybrid apps are built using both web technologies and native app code – which means they match with the particular device in use. Hybrid apps are popular with retailers because of the wealth of data they can provide, insights and metrics that can be used to optimise marketing strategy and execution. And rather unsurprisingly, 50% of those surveyed stated they owe 10% - 30% of their sales to mobile apps, while 36% owe up to 50% of their conversions to their app or apps. It's plain to see the potency of the mobile app in today's digital world, and while some don't consider it an essential element of their mobile strategy, for most retailers, offering such a development is critical.


Going local: developing location-based mobile services

Local searches lead 50% of mobile visitors to visit stores within one day of interaction. That’s difficult to ignore.

Among those interviewed by WBR, 89% are either already using location-based mobile services, or are looking to introduce them to their mCommerce strategy. Essentially, location-based services can help in-store retailers turn consumers into physical buyers by sending relevant offers to customers while they are on the go. This strategy enables businesses to tap into sales from opportunistic shoppers who are on-the-move or nearby their stores, providing an extra dimension of revenue with a seamless blend of technology and classic in-person shopping.

As modern consumers, chiefly millennials, carry out their daily business on the go; location-based mobile services will become an increasingly fruitful strategy to ensure increased sales and overall brand engagement.

Mobile is on the move, and as the way consumers interact with the world around them continues to evolve, the only way is up.If you haven't already adopted a mobile-first mentality, now is the time to do so - invest in your mCommerce strategy and stay ahead of the pack - you have no time to waste.




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