According to research by the British Retail Consortium and Google Retail Monitor, mobile device searches accounted for 20% of total retail searches in the month of June compared with 10% in June 2011, while Forrester expects the European mobile buying population to rise from 7.6 million in 2011 to more than 79 million in 2017. Therefore, it’s a certainty that a mCommerce strategy will become increasingly important for retailers.
As well as purchasing mobile devices in an ever-growing number, consumers are using them to access the Internet and are increasingly downloading apps to use on their devices. In the United States, the average smartphone and tablet user spends more than 1.5 hours every day using mobile apps, while, in total, nearly 40 billion apps have now been downloaded from Apple’s App Store and the Android Market*.
There used to be a clear difference between online and offline customer behaviour. However, these channels have now blurred. Instead of either purchasing goods and services in a store or purchasing them online, customers are making the transition to ubiquitous retail. They are researching goods and services and making purchases using online, in-store and on-the-move touch points via a wide variety of fixed and mobile devices. In this climate, mobile has become an integral part of retail – and retailers and brand owners have to embrace mCommerce or they will be left behind.
It can be tempting to add mobile capability piecemeal, but it is more important to have a strategy to embrace all mobile commerce, that is built around the needs of the customer to give them a seamless experience. This also ensures that the brand is communicated consistently across all channels.
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*Mobile App Usage Further Dominates Web, Charles Newark-French, January 2012