There is a fundamental difference between having a mobile presence and being mobile first. While we admit that this is not groundbreaking information, the push for Covid-19 into an almost entirely digital world has undeniably accelerated the process – so much so that mobile commerce (m-commerce) is now about 35% of all online retail transactions.
But how is the world of retail adapting to the next generation of mobile shoppers? Are retailers doing enough to get ahead and, if not, what are the consequences?
Benefits of m-commerce for merchants
So, you might be wondering what is the difference between m-commerce and e-commerce? Electronic commerce means buy and sell online much more generally, while m-commerce deals specifically with mobile commerce. So these are people who buy and sell from their cell phone rather than a desktop or tablet. The two need to be treated as separate channels and have their own strategies for retailers to be successful.
When it comes to the benefits of m-commerce, retailers really don’t need to be too interested in it. Considering 79% of smartphone users have made an online purchase on their mobile in the past six months, not having an m-commerce strategy could be extremely damaging for a business.
Not only does m-commerce speed up the customer journey, it also helps us better understand them. Where consumers walk into a store, buy something, and leave, m-commerce can use data to give you a better idea of what is influencing their purchase. Even with the recent iOS 14 update and cookie restrictions, retailers can still get valuable information about why certain products are selling.
Likewise, with an m-commerce strategy, retailers can create and distribute personalized content at a much more granular level than ever before. One in five consumers are happy that businesses are using personal information whether that means they are receiving a more personalized product or service. Armed with this information, retailers can analyze behavior patterns of individuals and then deliver this personalized content, such as specials, promotions and / or discounts based on their purchase history. So, data sharing may not be as taboo as retailers think.
Can a trader survive without an m-commerce strategy?
‘Showroomis something that has emerged in recent years. This is when a consumer walks into a store to browse and see the products in real life before going online to find the best deal.
If a retailer wants to sustain their physical stores, it is crucial that they integrate m-commerce into their growth plans. Retailers who have done this successfully have integrated the online and offline shopping experience to provide the best of both worlds for consumers.
Stores operating click-and-collect services, in particular, have found that this also increases their in-store activity. Target of US retailer (Bosco Index: 667) saw a 60% pickup in-store following the introduction of a click-and-collect shopping service.
In the future, retailers risk failing by not implementing an m-commerce strategy to support this new buying behavior. Likewise, for many, the shopping experience must now stand out to be worth the detour. After all, why would you want to walk into a store when you can see the entire product line from the comfort of your couch?
How is m-commerce affecting physical stores?
While m-retail plays a crucial role in the marketing mix, that doesn’t mean retailers have to rely on the physical store. Ultimately, people shop for the experience. Even if they don’t buy anything, for most consumers shopping is a day. They’ll likely go out with friends and buy coffee or lunch while they’re out.
Mobile shopping can never replace the physical shopping experience. This is why the m-commerce strategy must be integrated with existing marketing plans to maximize informed omnichannel buyers. Today’s retailers need to deliver an exceptional in-store experience that leaves positive impressions on consumers, which will influence their purchasing decisions, whether on mobile, online or in-store.
It can be difficult as a retailer to know where to spend your budget – this is where Bosco can help. Using a machine learning algorithm, Bosco identifies where you can best spend your marketing dollars based on opportunities within your channels. Moreover, you can use the forecasting tools to test budget scenarios, thus avoiding spending your money.