Multichannel retail: mobile commerce poised for strong growth


With mobile devices becoming mainstream, it's clear that much of our digital behavior is shifting towards these mobile platforms. Smartphones are devices that are used for several activities, including reading email, social networking, finding information, redeeming coupons and scanning QR coupons, staying up-to-date and obviously, also shopping.

Mobile commerce is rapidly gaining attention, another reason to include mobile in a multichannel strategy. Obviously, what people buy with their smartphones and other mobile devices differs a lot: from virtual goods, such as credits for specific websites, to tickets for events and tangible goods such as clothes.

Consumer electronics leads the m-commerce product category pack

In fact, according to comScore's and Millennial Media's "Mobile Intel Series: Retail" report, released last June, consumer electronics is the product category most frequently purchased via mobile devices (31% of all mobile shoppers).

It is followed by clothing and accessories (29%), food (26%), entertainment tickets (21%) and airplane tickets (also 21%).

Of course, there are also huge differences per region, country, age and more. However, all reports show m-commerce is growing fast.

Reasons for a fast m-commerce growth and a single customer view

Even if it's only a small fraction of your business (or none) now, chance is that with the rapid uptake of applications such as location-based services and QR codes, e-commerce apps and easy checkout mechanisms, it will play a role in your business as well.

Until then, make sure you know the mobile behavior of your customers (most businesses don't) and you are where your customers are, while striving for a single customer view.

Different sources predict different revenue data for the coming years, but they are all impressive. BitWizards, for instance, says global m-commerce revenues should reach 119 billion USD in 2015. In 2009, it recorded revenues of 1.2 billion USD.

The company found currently half of global consumers shop via mobile phone and qualifies 10% of all consumers "heavy m-commerce shoppers."

Together with the rapid growth of e-commerce and online retail in general, changing media and buying behavior and the role of mobile in consumer's lives, this percentage might increase faster than we think.

For retailers, and businesses in general, it's again a signal that mobile devices and channels and activities on mobile phones should be taken into consideration.

Note that, regarding devices, Forrester Research expects the tablet to lead soon in mobile commerce. Today, smartphones are clear drivers of the mobile evolution with their huge user adoption, but the company found that shopping online is a popular activity among tablet owners

Do you want to engage the multi-channel consumer?

Today's customer is cross-channel and he/she is at the centre of sales and marketing.

Communication channels depend on the consumer and marketing is about engaging the cross-channel customer and prospect throughout integrated dialogues that are driven by his/her buying journey, preferences, triggers, signals and behaviour.

Discover why your business should move to an integrated marketing approach step by step and how.

Download our white paper "Moving towards integrated interactive marketing".