Today's consumer has multiple options when it comes to being engaged or engaging the brand of their choice. Whether it is a smartphone, tablet, PC, game consoles or smart TV, retailers can now access different channels that will deliver better ROI than previous methods of customer engagement. A new report by Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMGR), the UK’s industry association for e-retail, titled "M-Commerce: Paradigm shift or subtle change of course?" asks a very important question on how mobile is impacting commerce.
The report was presented this morning by IMRG’s Chief Operations & Policy Officer, Andrew McClelland, at a retail event hosted by Facebook (News - Alert), and it revealed the growing impact of mobile device usage and the role of smartphones in the multichannel retail environment.
As the title of the report questions, is there a paradigm shift or subtle change of course, and how much impact is mobile technology having in this change? According to the report, over half or 53 percent of online-only and catalogue retailers have a mobile-optimized websites, compared with 74 percent of multichannel retailers.
"The fact that multichannel brands are ahead in terms of adoption of mobile-optimized websites will come as a surprise to some. This is probably a reflection on the limited number of enterprise-sized platform providers available for bigger brands. Once they have rolled out mobile, it is relatively easy to replicate across other client sites, whereas pureplays tend to have more bespoke sites which are more difficult to optimize," said McClelland.
The fact of the matter is smart mobile devices have forever changed the way people shop, and retailers that choose not to recognize this fact will fall by the wayside. An important data point by the IMRG Q1 Quarterly Benchmark of 2014 highlights this very fact, with 34 percent of all e-retail sales going through a mobile device while they also provide 48 percent of all traffic. Ignoring more than one third of your potential sales is a recipe for disaster and as McClelland stated, "The customers of both multichannel and pureplay retailers are already very engaged with mobile technology and won’t wait for brands to catch up."
The report looks at :
- A definition of mobile, how it has evolved and its increasing role in terms of commerce
- The constant change in consumer behavior and their usage of mobile
- Why mobile is the missing link for multichannel retailers
- How mobile makes social work for consumers in discovery mode
- Geolocation, Beacons, Permissions and Relevancy for the consumer
- Whether to develop an app or not
- A summary of the 'mobile' customer journey
Mobile technology presents many opportunities for retailers, and the question the report asks can definitely be answered by saying we are in the midst of paradigm shift that has forever changed how we buy everything, and mobile is responsible for that shift.
Edited by Allison Sansone
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