According to Retail Customer Experience, a June 2013 report revealed that more than half (55 percent) of all retail-related internet time originated on smartphones and tablet devices combined, with just 45 percent originating from desktop devices. It also reported that between Q2 2012 and Q2 2013, m-commerce grew 24 percent, compared to 16 percent growth in e-commerce as a whole. The need to market for m-commerce rings especially true for retail – one of the fastest-growing industries among consumers. From June 2012 to June 2013, the industry grew 49 percent as a content category on smartphones. Retail may be the first to be affected and the fastest to adapt to the m-commerce movement, but these numbers could be indicative of more developments to come in other industries.
In short, mobile devices and actions are no longer secondary – they’re reigning supreme. They have revolutionized the way that consumers interact with businesses. It’s becoming increasingly important for U.S. companies to invest in this trend and not only meet, but exceed their customers’ technological expectations. They must adapt their marketing toward m-commerce in order to succeed amidst the emerging mobile trend. If they are late to the party then they risk becoming irrelevant – losing or alienating customers. To meet needs and exceed expectations, businesses should develop custom Apple and Android apps and offer opportunities to interact through their website. Otherwise, they will seek out your competitor’s app and site. In Q2 this year, nearly six in 10 (57 percent) smartphone users visited the same company’s site or app while in the store, compared to 43 percent who consulted another company’s site or app. The top reason consumers consulted the retailer’s or another company’s website or app was to view price differences. It is also important to reward your leads and customers with exclusive offers through your app, site or social media profile. Most of them expect it. Among the smartphone users who went to the same retailer’s site, 59 percent wanted to see if there was an online discount available.
Let’s take teen clothing retailer Wet Seal for example. According to Mobile Shopping, an m-commerce forum, their “Runway” app allows customers to enter their brick-and-mortar stores, scan barcodes on items and see outfits that have been styled with that item by others in the social community, allowing for cross-selling opportunities. Talk about leveraging the social channel and providing stellar marketing for m-commerce. I outgrew that store years ago and now I feel myself wanting to revisit it just to try out the app. More m-commerce ideas:
Ignoring this emerging trend — and not doing any marketing for m-commerce — would be short-sighted to say the least. With m-commerce, you can impress your leads and customers with innovative technology, give your campaigns a competitive edge and allow your customers to engage with your brand from anywhere in the world.