Did you know? – There are over 6.8 billion mobile users worldwide and out of which 15% are mobile internet subscribers. According to ITU, mobile’s share of all Internet traffic is expected to be ~ 2 billion (30% of mobile subscribers) by the end of 2013. Among various mobile applications, mobile commerce has emerged as the most important trend in influencing the retail landscape. This is mainly due to growth in smartphone/tablet sales and fast acceptance of using these devices as a shopping channel.
Over the past few years there has been unprecedented growth in mobile commerce. Based on a market research conducted by experts, 74% of smartphone shoppers have made a purchase following research on phone, 78% of retailers plan to invest in mobile commerce this year and 69% of retail executives said mobile is an important strategic initiative.
Consumers’ demand to shop online, especially from their hand-held devices is growing significantly. Consumers find shopping via their smartphones convenient, simple and even enjoyable. Therefore, evolution in mobile ecosystem – technology, smart devices and mobile applications along with increasing consumer demand is driving retailers to think mobile.
Challenges vs. Benefits
Many retailers have moved fast on the mobility path. While, some are concerned about – for which device platform to provide the app, what features to offer, will allowing connectivity with their back-end systems be secure, will the application be available to consumers easily, will they be able to achieve ROI in few weeks instead of years, and many more questions cross their mind.
These concerns are reasonable and understood. However, the benefits of providing mobile commerce solution for consumers far outweigh the risks. Simple features such as product catalog, reviews and comments, option to redeem discounted offers, search for best deals, find store locations, and ability to purchase the product with simple checkout option is attracting large number of consumers to shop using their mobile devices.
The returns can be noticed from the early adopters of mobile commerce, some of the big retailers such as eBay, Amazon, Target and Walmart have observed significant difference after implementing the mobile commerce solution. eBay finished 2012 with $13 billion in volume (more than double the prior year) and PayPal mobile handled almost $14 billion in payment volume (more than triple the prior year). In 2013, eBay expects each to exceed $20 billion. For Target their mobile purchases constitute more than 7% of our digital sales, and mobile traffic is now more than 25% of their overall digital traffic. Walmart, the largest retailer in the world, is focusing more towards their mobile strategy. Walmart have noticed that their highly engaged app customers make almost four more trips a month than a non-app user and spend 77% more every month. Whereas for Amazon, received 59.36% of mobile department store visits. Some of the other retailers experiencing good traffic from mobile are Costco, Macy’s Inc, Nordstrom, Sears Holding Corporation etc.
Real-Time Statistics & Growth
Today, mobile is becoming more of an essential channel for retailers. And mobile commerce seems to be the fastest growing channel in retail with over half of digital time spent on retail websites and applications coming from smartphones and tablets.
Based on a report generated by ComScore, mobile commerce accounts to 31% sales growth even though the retail sales increased by 1% during that time frame. As per eMarketer, mobile commerce in the US is expected to account for over 60% of online sales by 2015.
Choosing the Right Strategy
Here are three useful points to consider, while choosing the right mobile commerce strategy for your consumers. This will help you achieve better ROI:
- Evaluate the time required for your application to go live. Select a solution, which includes pre-built modules and is pre-integrated with mobile ecosystem (analytics, payment gateways etc). This will help you go-to-market quickly.
- Start with a Mobile Web App. This will help you reach out to wide-range of consumers, and then eventually include native apps to provide better user experience
- Begin with few compelling features in your application, and then add more features in iterations
People are expected to shop on their smart devices more often than ever. With increasing demand from consumers and proliferation of smartphones, mobile commerce is the trend in retail and still remains as the buzz word. Global mobile payment transactions are expected to be $490 billion by 2015 and US Mobile Commerce Sales is expected to be $31 billion in 2015.
So, why think twice? Go mobile now! Click here to find out on how to implement a simple mobility solution for your consumers.
Marketing Manager, RapidValue Solutions