JLL has recently reported that m-commerce is becoming increasingly more popular. As the number of tech-savvy individuals grows and consumers become more time-poor, shopping from a smartphone has become a great solution: allowing purchases on a flexible timescale that works around different lifestyles and schedules.
The importance of having a user-friendly mobile website or app is paramount! In order to convert the traffic into sales, the experience needs to be simple and seamless. I know I have lost patience when a website is loading too slowly, or when items have been removed from my basket when I have gone back to browse or when a brand has too many steps in the payment process. Apps tend to be more user-friendly and often save customer details which makes the purchase a lot quicker. Apps also offer the opportunity for brands to communicate and send tailored advertisements and alerts to consumers.
M-commerce delivers the opportunity to increase a brands overall sales which is obviously a bonus. However, it also impacts the requirement of visiting a physical store which could heavily influence footfall levels. Online shopping is becoming all too convenient which is challenging retailers to really give consumers a reason to visit a store or shopping centre, through differentiating and developing the experience and service on offer.
There has been a prediction looming of stores becoming showrooms, where consumers will visit to enjoy an experience and brands will utilise the space to build brand loyalty and awareness – not to complete sales, but to display products that can be ordered online.
Due to the rise of mobile usage and m-commerce, it is important retailers integrate the mobile into the store experience. This can be through beacon technology, Wi-Fi, interactive hangers/labels, games or styling advice. The developments in technology offer a whole range of opportunities to intertwine the mobile into the store experience. Staff can also be equipped with a mobile device so they have access to knowledge and data such as stock levels, the ability to take payment anywhere on the shop floor or give style advice.
E-commerce news has reported that m-commerce sales across the UK, France and Germany will reach over 85 billion euros this year. This is an impressive figure demonstrating the importance of having an m-commerce site to avoid the risk of being left behind by competitors. This figure also highlights the reality to retailers of the rise in users, encouraging brands to change and diversify the experience they are offering in store, creating events and experiences to encourage and retain high levels of footfall.