Yesterday, we mentioned that comScore found smartphone penetration reached 42% across the five key European markets and highlighted the impact of mobile on email. However, there is more. The fast uptake of smartphones and other mobile devices starts to be noticed from a traffic perspective.
On top of that, the mobile shopper seems to be a true multichannel king and cross-channel interaction is important for retailers. This offers opportunities for retailers, both online and in the ‘real’ world. The comScore data show that over 13 million consumers, owning a smartphone, visited a retail website, making it one of the most popular activities. Mobile commerce is picking up as well, especially among the 18-24 year age group, closely followed by the 25-34 year-old consumers. For now, mobile commerce, is more popular among men than among female consumers.
Still, overall mobile devices account for 3.2% of total website traffic, according to comScore. Tablets (which are separated) account for 1.4%. Despite these seemingly low numbers, it’s important to look at the overall shopping reality. As we mentioned before email is very popular when looking at smartphone usage. Furthermore, the mobile consumer interacts with retailers in other ways, for instance, by comparing products.
Mobile shopping goes in different directions
All in all, retail and ecommerce seem to be the main industries that are affected by mobile device usage. The buying journey of a consumer is affected by many touch points and happens across several channels, but it’s clear mobile plays an increasing role.
The most interesting phenomenon, however, is that smartphones are also being used more often during the physical shopping experience. From scanning barcodes and taking pictures of products to texting friends about products, sending pictures, finding store locations, comparing product prices and obviously finding coupons: the smartphone is claiming its place in the buying process.
Retailers can use their physical stores in many ways to use mobile devices as a connection between online and offline: offering QR codes with product information and using coupons are just a few of them.
Smartphones are becoming extensions of the way we buy and inform ourselves. Mobile websites and smart cross-channel approaches that tap into the power of mobile and social, can strengthen conversions and improve the shopping experience. However, most of all, they offer new touch points for businesses that have a cross-channel marketing strategy and strive towards a single customer view.
Communication channels depend on the consumer and marketing is about engaging the cross-channel customer and prospect throughout integrated dialogs that are driven by his/her buying journey, preferences, triggers, signals and behavior.
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