Mobile Commerce: More Than Responsive Design
It is no surprise that mobile commerce is an important trend in retail. In fact, eMarketer predicts that by 2021, the mobile commerce market will represent 72.9% of the ecommerce market worldwide. Just go into any store and watch how many shoppers check their mobile phone at some point. They might use their mobile device to do some quick research, do some price shopping, or check something completely unrelated. Consumers are addicted to smartphones. Today's shopping experience includes mobile. As mobile users, we are consummate social media, news feeds, podcasts, messaging, gaming, and mobile app junkies. Yet when it comes to mobile commerce - are we doing enough in retail?
Mobile Commerce in Retail Button's 2019 mobile commerce report reviews the mobile behavior of consumers over the holiday shopping season. This research specifically compared in-app mobile purchasing against mobile web purchasing. In other words, are shoppers more likely to buy from a mobile responsive site, or from a mobile-optimized app? It turns out that consumers using mobile-optimized apps made 108% more purchases in-app. This compared to consumers doing their online shopping on a mobile responsive site (mobile web). Now, let's compare to what retailers are actually offering in the market, from the Omni-2000 research. From the 2000+ retailers reviewed internationally, 75.9% have mobile responsive - mobile commerce. This is definitely laudable. Yet, the research found that only 8.3% of retailers currently offer mobile commerce optimized sites or mobile applications. If we know that consumers make 108% more purchases on mobile-optimized sites (apps), then we have a gap. Many, if not most good electronic commerce platforms (ECP) provide responsive site capabilities. This is great but can lure a retailer into thinking that their mobile strategy is fully covered. But, given Button's research results, mobile-optimized sites or apps provide the user experience that promotes buying.
Mobile Commerce by Country By country, retailers in Germany/Austria and the UK were most likely to offer mobile responsive sites. UK tops the chart at 83.4%, with Germany/Austria close behind at 83.0%. For mobile-optimized sites, or mobile apps, retailers in France excel. In France, 12.3% of retailers offer mobile commerce on mobile-optimized sites or apps. See the chart directly taken from the Omni-2000 research, for a summary of each country. [caption id="attachment_11010" align="aligncenter" width="694"] [Source: OrderDynamics' Omni-2000 Global Research][/caption]
Optimization = More Commerce [caption id="attachment_11009" align="alignright" width="454"] [Source: Button 2019 Mobile Commerce Report][/caption]Not only did consumers using mobile apps spend more, but they also converted at a higher rate. Conversion rates are 14% higher on mobile apps than on mobile. Button also shows that apps have a 177% higher revenue per tap, compared to mobile websites. Further, apps also showed a 108% higher number of purchase orders compared to mobile commerce on responsive sites.
Power User = SuperConsumer? Like the discovery of the Click and Collect Superconsumer, Button uncovered power users. This groups placed 130% more (double+) mobile commerce orders (6.2) compared to average users. Although power users are only 8% of all shoppers, they accounted for 22% of sales during the holiday shopping cycle. Retailers can easily fall in love with this group, as they made more than 6 shopping trips. During that time, they also converted at twice the rate of the average user.
M-Trend It does not take much convincing to see that mobile commerce is a strong retail trend. Accenture (2016) noted that "48% of all shoppers said they found it easier to make purchases using their mobile devices compared to 42% last year." M-commerce is becoming easier to use. It enables users to buy goods and transact anywhere they are at. Used as mobile wallets, it becomes a simple purchase transaction for consumers. Finally, once a relationship is established, it even allows retailers to use push notification to interact with customers. Clearly, it is a trend no retailer wants to miss.
Is an App All I Need? It is clear that retailers need to focus on mobile-optimized sites or apps as part of their mobile commerce strategy. However, retailers must also ensure this integrates into the overall omnichannel strategy. Mobile commerce needs to be integrated into the distributed order management (DOM / OMS) technology. This is where systems like OrderDynamics' DOM, truly shines. Unified into the broader omnichannel system, mobile commerce transactions become part of the seamless retail solution. This promotes a single and easy user experience. Integrated well, mobile becomes another fully functional sales channel. Done well, the shopper can access all information, like a location's available inventory. Orders can be placed for delivery, in-store pickup, or reserved. Shoppers can then use the retailer's payment gateway to pay with credit cards, debit, Apple pay, loyalty points, gift cards, or any other combination. But, the important part here is to ensure the mobile app is not an orphan. Coupled with the order management system, it becomes a powerful retail sales channel.
Not Just Shoppers By extension, mobile commerce is also part of the store. POS (point of sale) systems like that of PCMS, are increasingly using mobile technology. The beauty is that systems like that of PCMS are designed to integrate with third-party speciality systems, and unify with order management technology like that of OrderDynamics'. Not only let in-store staff use mobile devices to see what is in stock, and where, but it also lets them use the endless aisle concept to 'save the sale'. Mobile commerce here lets associates scan, pay and get on their way, faster. It no longer tethers the cash counter. Now even wireless handheld devices are evolving to the next step. Wearable tech now allows authorizations and price-overrides from a distance. Store managers and supervisors don't have to be recalled to the front desk for each of these transactions. If this seems trivial, try running from the front to the back of a big box store twenty times consecutively. Even a smaller store can make the customer experience faster and more positive with quick authorizations, not needing the supervisor to come to the cash desk each time. All told, the in-store buy and sell process is just easier.
How About In-Store? Deloitte's 2018 research surmises the mobile commerce experience as a part of the omnichannel buying journey. Deloitte states, "consumer demand for a mobile-friendly experience will grow as the smartphone becomes more pervasive in our lives. But this does not just mean mobile-friendly websites for retailers, it means integrating the mobile experience into every element of the customer journey." Mobile commerce cannot be a standalone sales channel. It must be integrated into the order management ecosystem and omnichannel retail strategy. This means ecommerce, mobile and in-store will all provide the same customer experience. Full inventory information available on all platforms. And, all must be able to transact orders, when the customer wants to buy. Retailers have done a good job of adopting responsive design. But, more effort has to go into creating mobile-optimized sites and apps for mobile commerce. Early adopters here are already reaping the benefits of higher conversion and increased sales. Whether you call it mobile selling, mobile commerce, M-commerce or any other title, this an emerging retail channel that is gaining momentum. It is now clear, optimization is not an option. It is a core necessity. Equally, integrating your mobile commerce solutions into the omnichannel ecosystem will quickly become table stakes in retail. Author: Charles Dimov is VP of Marketing at OrderDynamics. Charles has 23 years experience in Marketing, Sales and Management across various IT and Technology businesses. Previous roles include Chief of Staff, Director Product Marketing, and Director Sales. Charles has held roles in brand name firms like IBM, Ericsson, HP, ADP, and OrderDynamics.Back to List View