The retail industry has changed significantly over the past few years - and most of this change has come from digital. Mobile in particular has been a key player in how shoppers are now interacting and engaging with their favourite retail brands but are your shoppers using their mobiles to shop with you?
The answer is ‘most probably’. And if they’re not yet, they will be within the next year or so.
If you’re curious as to just how important mobile devices are for retailers and their customers, we’ve provided a roundup of some insightful statistics and what you should take away from them.
Are shoppers using mobiles or desktop computers?
Mobile has slowly overtaken desktop as the primary device people use to browse online on the whole - and it won’t be long before online sales are primarily carried out on a mobile.
Mobile now accounts for 40% of all online retail sales according to IMRG and Capgemini’s Quarterly Benchmark.
Shoppers are still using desktops to buy products online (especially for higher value items such as furniture and technology) but there is still a significant percentage of online sales made through mobiles.
There are many industry experts who suggest investing heavily in mobile and making sure that you prioritise the user experience on mobile devices. Can shoppers use your online store easily on a mobile?
But this advice often ignores the fact that desktop still holds a majority for many businesses - especially smaller ones. So we always talk with clients about how to take a multi-device approach. Make sure your online store is easy to use on all devices, whether it’s a mobile, tablet, laptop or PC.
How are shoppers using mobiles in-store?
Today’s digital environment means that we use mobiles everywhere. We use them when we’re watching TV, on the bus to work and even when we’re in a store buying something.
It’s common for a shopper to take a look at a product online, then go into the store and use their phone to do some further research when they’re in front of the product. They may then either buy right there and then or they might go home to think about it and buy online.
As you can see, the buying process for many shoppers has become a lot more complicated and involves a number of factors including mobile experience, how easy it is to research the product and then the in-store experience.
43% of UK smartphone users have used their device whilst in a retail store and 22% of shoppers use their phones to research the product they want to buy whilst in-store.
Obviously this statistic varies depending on the type of products you sell and what kind of retailer you are but it’s evidence that the shopping process is changing, and retailers need to adapt to meet these new customer expectations. Our advice is to make sure that your shoppers can easily find information about your brand and your products when they’re on a mobile device - including product specs, delivery information, variations and product reviews.
Why aren’t retailers investing in mobile?
Despite the growth in mobile as an important element of customer behaviour, many retailers aren’t investing in mobile optimisation or a mobile strategy.
Retailers are missing out on £6.6bn a year due to a lack of investment in mobile according to research by CRR. As a result, almost half of shoppers are unhappy with the mobile experience of their favourite retailers.
Many retailers feel that investing in mobile can be expensive and whilst this can sometimes be the case, retailers are actually then losing out on sales because of it.
We recommend that mobile optimisation is always taken into account when designing and developing a new website and that any digital marketing elements are planned with mobile users in mind.
What is the future of mobile shopping?
It’s not going to be long before it’s common for shoppers to use their mobiles as a primary device for shopping online and research predicts that by 2024, UK shoppers are set to spend £53.6bn a year on mobile.
That’s not only a huge opportunity for retailers but it could also be a threat for retailers who don’t adapt their marketing strategies to accommodate shoppers’ changing behaviours.
Want to embrace mobile?
If you want to embrace mobile and use it to grow your retail business, please feel free to take a look at our eCommerce service or contact us for advice.