The world is mobilizing. And if you’re not part of it, you’re going to struggle to keep up.
It sounds like a bold claim, but the statistics back it up. Consider that 77% of Americans own a smartphone, for example. 80% of shoppers are now using mobile phones inside stores to look up products reviews before they make a purchase.
Suffice it to say, retail is more mobile than ever before.
But what does that mean for a brand like yours? Even if you don’t have a brick-and-mortar retail presence, you’d be surprised at what this “mobilization” of commerce is doing to brands of all types. Here are some reasons you should pay attention to an increasingly mobile world:
The Social Nature of Mobile Retail
If that statistic about shoppers surprised you, you’re not alone. Considering just how much smartphones have become an everyday part of our shopping experience, brands of all types need to think about how they come across via the mobile browser. In short: if customers are already looking at their phones before they make an in-store purchase, what else are they looking at before making key decisions?
As recently as 2017, mobile retail commerce constituted over a third of all retail eCommerce sales. Estimates suggest that mobile retail will become the majority of retail commerce by 2021, which indicates a trend that few brands can afford to ignore.
The more you sell online, the more you can expect to have to cater to the demands of the audience on their smartphones.
This means you’ll also have to deal with the social nature of mobile retail.
But while these challenges might seem substantial, consider that there’s more to the story. Whenever there’s massive growth in an area like mobile retail, you can always find opportunities for greater success:
The Good News: Massive Growth and Opportunity
Remember that statistic about how much of all eCommerce retail is handled via mobile purchase? Then you won’t be surprised to learn that eMarketer believes that global eCommerce sales will reach over $4 trillion by 2020. That’s some 15% of all retail sales.
This trend points to the growing influence of eCommerce and the smartphone as it relates to consumer purchases and customer behavior. But while those numbers might be intimidating, you’d be surprised to find out how many brands have yet to catch up.
DynamicYield reports that only 12% of consumers find mobile web shopping convenient.
These two statistics demonstrate a central point that any digital brand—heavily involved in retail or not—can learn: while customers are moving quickly to eCommerce and mobile retail, not every brand is doing a great job of keeping up.
That means there are plenty of opportunities to be had as this sector of retail grows. The better your mobile presence, the greater your advantage over the competition. You don’t necessarily even have to make retail products to realize that there’s an opportunity here.
With an improved mobile presence, you’ll access a growing segment of any market. That doesn’t apply only to retail. As more and more users access digital brands from their smartphones, you’ll find yourself well positioned to take advantage of increased demand.
Ways to Make Your Brand More Mobile-Ready
What does it mean to be “more mobile”? How can your brand access a growing segment of the web without falling behind the trends?
In retail and eCommerce, the answers are simple: the easier it is for a user to shop on your mobile site, the more likely it is that you’re going to cast a wider mobile net and capture more of these customers.
What about digital brands that don’t necessarily rely on retail sales? Here are some things to keep in mind:
Embracing Mobile Habits in the Retail Experience
The idea of retail becoming increasingly mobile might be worrisome for some brands that focus on brick-and-mortar buildings. But that doesn’t mean that the mobile experience is making these obsolete.
For example, Amazon Go has embraced the digital and mobile age by making a new investment into the brick-and-mortar retail space. The key innovation here is that Amazon Go utilizes mobile technology to make the in-person shopping experience more effective.
Other retail outlets are just as likely to capitalize on the increased use of smartphones in their customer base. For example, if a customer is already checking up on a specific product via mobile in the store, a retail brand might consider offering special discounts for this type of behavior via its mobile application. This doesn’t only invite the behavior, but it incentivizes the need to come into the brick-and-mortar store, where they might be more inclined to make point-of-sale purchases.
A customer bearing a smart phone doesn’t have to be a threat to the existence of retail. Even with the growth of eCommerce, the retail experience is still alive and well. In fact, brands like yours could enhance their customer experience by embracing these mobile habits.
How to Prepare for a Mobile Retail Environment
What can a digital brand do to prepare for a mobile retail environment—a future in technology where our lives will be handled via phone rather than tablet or desktop?
Here are a few tips for preparing your brand for the influx of mobile eCommerce:
Embracing a New Era of Retail
It’s said that the only constant in life is change. That’s certainly been true in retail, where the increased accessibility of mobile technology is promising brand-altering changes in the way we think about how we shop online. But if your company is adaptable, forward-thinking, and ready to embrace a new trend, you’ll find that not only can you prepare for these changes—you can transcend them.