Despite the rise in m-commerce, many retailers are lagging behind the trend and losing out on transactions.
The news that Topshop is launching a mobile-optimised website will have many other retailers looking at their mobile strategies. But how important is this channel and how can retailers ensure they get it right?
Matt Cockett, commercial director for mobile and digital communications business Mobile Interactive Group, believes many retailers are lagging behind consumer demand when it comes to m-commerce. “Retailers only need to look at their statistics to see consumers are viewing their site on a mobile. If they are not letting them buy, not only are they missing a sales opportunity but they are also in danger of annoying their customer and therefore damaging the brand’s reputation,” he says.
Colin McCaffery, product and technology director at mobile technology and marketing company 2ergo, agrees. He says: “A YouGov survey that 2ergo commissioned recently shows less than a quarter of high street retailers are harnessing the power of mobile, despite consumers being increasingly comfortable with purchasing via their mobile.
“This is quite worrying when you think about the latest ComScore stats that show a 56% growth in smartphone ownership in the UK over the past year and a 163% increase in UK smartphone users accessing online retail sites.”
A report by mobile research company MobileSquared has shown there are 21 million m-commerce users in the UK and this audience is set to grow. Specific marketing for mobile with tools such as QR codes will tell customers that a brand is embracing new technology and give them a multichannel experience.
And innovation is still key. “The mobile platform still offers huge scope for innovation, which can purely be about driving sales or engaging with your audience at a key point – for example, when they are stood in a store looking at a product and deciding whether to buy elsewhere or do comparison checks online for a better price,” says McCaffery.
M-commerce is another channel for retailers to reach customers. Effective planning, taking into consideration who the audience is and how they use their mobile, can drive engagement as well as sales.
Matt Cockett’s top tips
1. Don’t rush it. Before launching a mobile-optimised site, be sure to have a full understanding of your customers, how often they are accessing your site on a mobile and what they are trying to achieve.
2. Take time to build a dedicated mobile journey for the customer. Don’t just replicate the website.
3. Where possible, integrate the mobile channel with all other systems to ensure the customer is seen as one customer across all channels. This will make them feel more secure when shopping with the brand on a mobile.
4. Put in place a one-click-to-buy solution. Customers are much more likely to abandon their shopping journey on a mobile if they have to go through multiple steps to buy.
5. Once an optimised site is launched, consider building apps to complement the site and drive traffic to it.