Mobile commerce will rock 2016 [5 Reading tips]

Jonathan Nalder /
Jonathan Nalder /

Every time I walk around the streets I see people totally attached to their mobiles: texting, listening to music, socializing, searching for some inspiration for a present, or checking opening times for the restaurant they want to go to for dinner later. It is really likely that the future of commerce will be dominated by an ambitious mobile strategy which implies the use of cross-channels.

Although in some European countries the use of mobile devices to make purchases is still minor, the tendency, according to some studies, suggests next year might be the year of mobile commerce, mostly because of the impulse made by the millennials.

Millennials are hitting mobile commerce

This October Dynatrace has conducted a survey of more than 5,000 owners of smartphones and tablets. The results show that 50% of millennials users (age 18-34) from the USA, UK, Germany, France, and Australia will be doing more shopping on their smartphones and/or tablets than last year. UK retailers should watch out because 60% of the millennials smartphone/tablet users will prefer to buy more using their devices than by going into brick and mortar stores. In contrast, only 36% of German millennials will use their devices to do their shopping.

However, the millennials, digital natives, don’t expect a great experience in-store, like their parents did, but also expect immediacy and integral services in their digital experiences because they are used to it.

62% of millennials who use smartphones/tablets would use their devices when they are in physical stores to compare prices, read product reviews, and download coupons. This means that retailers should take this seriously into consideration so that they can prepare their stores for excellent digital performance as well as offer a wide range of valuable digital experiences.

Digital performance management

They use their devices constantly and demand information as quickly as possible and, if the connection failed or they experience any delay or problem, they abandon the active search and, what is worse, the purchase, visiting a competitor site instead.

For this reason it is important to invest funds in a solid and easy App and to plan and execute ambitious digital performance strategies.

Digital experiences

This should be coordinated together with the implementation of new ways of interaction with customers towards a total digitalisation. In this sense, in-stores and webshops are continuously developing new ways to meet their potential customers’ needs. Zara, for example, will provide their fitting room with Ipads so that shoppers can order new outfits without getting out of the changing rooms.

Beacon technology

On the other hand, excitingly, beacons and mobile will build a bridge between online and old brick and mortar consumer experiences to raise brand awareness, increase engagement, drive in-store traffic, and even to activate sales.

These little sensors will start to go mainstream in the out-of-home space, making 2016 the year of beacons. Beacons on billboards will pick up mobiles in proximity and adapt their content accordingly.

It seems like integrating beacons at the right points along the path to purchase can make retargeting more relevant for consumers and more resource-effective for advertisers. However, it is not clear how enthusiastic the customers are about these features. In many cases they look reluctant to in-store tracking, even if it is their favorite brand.

The reason is the lack of confidence in the company and how they use this personal data. That probably should be the main challenge of traders which implement beacon technology or are planning to do so. One solution could be the offer of a double-opt-in procedure to ensure that customers are really aware of the terms of use and they agree in taking advantage also of this technology.

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