The M-Commerce Revolution: 3 Things Retailers Must Get Right

mobile shopping and m-commerce revolutionForget e-commerce. We’re now officially in the age of m-commerce. The recently released 2013 Social & Mobile Commerce Report reveals that smartphones and tablets are now the go-to devices for consumers to interact with online retailers. Based on their numbers from June 2013, more than half (55%) of time spent with online retail occurred on a mobile device, with only 45% occurring on a desktop or laptop.

The implications of this are huge for both brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers, especially when you consider exactly what consumers are doing on their mobile devices — and how much they’re spending on them (upwards of $10 billion, according to a different comScore report).

What does it mean for online retailers?

Consumers are telling us through their behavior that they want and demand quality, seamless, enjoyable and valuable mobile shopping experiences — on retail websites as well as on search engines and social media. What they want isn’t outlandish or unachievable — it’s basic stuff, and getting these few simple things right can mean real business results:

  1. Create a seamless browsing and shopping experience. Consumers are using multiple devices — smartphones, tablets and desktops/laptops — on their paths to purchasing even a single item. This means user experience, design, functionality and content across all devices needs to be tightly aligned. Looking up product information on a tablet should be just as easy as on a desktop, and purchasing on a smartphone just as intuitive as on a laptop.
  2. Be easy to find. If they can’t find you, they won’t come. In Q2 2013, 35% of consumers used their smartphones to look up a retail location, with 59% using a mobile web browser to do so. For all those brick-and-mortars out there, that means mobile SEO, SEM and advertising must play a role in your digital strategy, just so you can be found.
  3. Set a mobile deal strategy. Consumers want deals. No surprise there, but what is surprising is how many retailers don’t share deals or coupons online, let alone ones that are optimized or exclusively for mobile users. Having a sound deal strategy that leverages location-based technologies, social media, email marketing and other platforms for pushing out coupons is key to attracting and converting potential consumers into loyal customers.
  4. Getting it right

    While the answer is pretty straightforward — implementing the solution is not always so easy. Not because strategy or design or even technology proves challenging, but because we tend to get in our own way when it comes to shifting marketing strategy — and dollars. What’s clear, though, is that adaptation is imperative. Retailers who recognize and adapt to the mobile revolution now, instead of later, will see promising returns. And those that don’t will be left with empty carts.

    For more best practices and benchmarks, read our Mobile Strategy white paper.