It’s Time for Retailers to Take the Mobile Shopping… | Nuscreen Inc.

It’s Time for Retailers to Take the Mobile Shopping Experience Seriously

With the ever-increasing popularity of #CyberMonday, the retail ecosystem is constantly being reshaped as it catches up to worldwide shifts in mobile device usage.

(Photo: Tati Tata/Flickr - Source: Adobe Digital Insights)

Mobile shopping has changed the path to purchase and disrupted the traditional retail model. Time spent on mobile devices continue to grow as in-store foot traffic continues to decline.

Unfortunately for retailers, many stores bank on the holiday season to hit sales quotas for the year, yet many continue to struggle to close the gap. Coincidently, these same retailers have failed to take the mobile shopping experience seriously in their holiday shopping strategies.

(Photo: Derek Tsang/Flickr - Source: ThinkWithGoogle)

Today, shopping happens when and where customers want it to happen, not necessarily dictated by when retailers say it’s time to head to the store. Promotions and incentives are now challenged by customers who are able to do research, price compare and price match purchases - all from their mobile device.

(Photo: Jason Howie / Flickr - Source: StatCounterGlobalStats)

StatCounter finds that mobile and tablet devices accounted for 51.3% of internet usage worldwide in October compared to 48.7% by desktop, providing further credence to the notion that the mobile device is the ultimate shopping companion for customers.

Online shopping allows for customers to fit browsing, researching and purchasing gifts into their day rather than waiting for an opportune time to head in-store.

With purchase making following an unconventional path, retailers are challenged with reaching customers at the right time, with the right message on the right channel.

Mobile is the one communication tool that retailers have that is with the customer all the time. Think about that for a second – retailers have access to their customers through a mobile device that will follow them from online shopping at home to online shopping in-store.

(Photo: Epicantus/Flickr - Source: Marketingland)

Retailers that see the opportunity that exists in mobile shopping will continue to get ahead with customers.

It’s true that not everyone is using a mobile device to buy and even those that do (including myself) still enjoy the nostalgia of the holiday shopping experience of yester-year. After all – think of how the movie Serendipity would play out if John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale both decided to skip Bloomingdales and buy from the mobile app. Not quite as magical, right?

In-store shopping will still play a role this holiday season; but so will social media, e-commerce and in-app purchases. Customers will combine shopping experiences with the best of physical retail locations and digital shopping. Mobile will play a large role in connecting the dots for customers and creating that shopping experience.

What’s a retailer to do?

Instead of thinking about how to drive foot traffic into stores for customers to buy, think about how to get your product in front of customers when (and where) they are ready to buy. Even if you aren’t a mobile shopper, your customers are.

It’s time to take the mobile shopping experience as seriously as your customers do.