3 Ways Mobile Devices Are Changing Retail and E-Commerce Businesses



Introducing a mobile app or mobile-compatible website enables consumers to better connect with a business’ social media presence, and perform shopping and social interactions all at the same time.


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With predictions that sales through a mobile channel will continue to increase this year, it is no wonder that mobile devices are becoming an essential in E-commerce. Businesses need to adapt to the growing demand of consumers since mobile devices are now a part of everyday life. Multichannel retailing is forever developing and here are three reasons why businesses should look to mobile devices to help their profits grow. (via Smart Insights)

1. Alternative storefront

The world of E-commerce has further expanded to envelop mobile shopping. Although laptops and computers remain prominent for browsing retail websites, mobile devices have overtaken them when it comes to what channel consumers choose to shop on. As further developments in technology open up the E-commerce platform to mobile phones and tablets too, opting out of having a mobile storefront loses out on a large and current market; a grand total of 80% of internet users own a smartphone.

Many consumers use mobile devices to browse stores when they are out and about. The convenience of mobile shopping as well as the universal access (all you need is a device that connects to the internet and internet access), make it a simple solution for consumers to buy the items they want from the desired store. Now it is very straightforward to make a website mobile compatible, to ensure maximum ease of navigation across a website and to complete the sales transaction. Consumers have more confidence in the security of making online payments through mobile devices than ever before.

Jumping onto the app trend is another useful way to reach out to more potential customers. Consumers spend a vast amount of time on mobile apps, with statistics showing that people prefer using apps rather than the website, to shop from their mobile devices. Apps can be tailored to make the shopping process as uncomplicated as possible, therefore increasing the likelihood of sales. The retailer ASOS is a perfect example of a company whose mobile platform plays a critical role in sales. They know their market and have adapted their E-commerce trade to fit in with the latest demands and technology.

2. In-store WiFi access

Big name retailers such as John Lewis and Marks & Spencer have seen a positive growth in sales over the years after offering free in-store WiFi access to their customers. Not only does it give customers an added incentive to shop in-store, it also gives employees instant access to product information which allows for a quicker and more knowledgeable customer service.

Particularly beneficial for stores with catering facilities, free in-store Wi-Fi access can increase the time customers spend in a store. It gives them instant access to the store’s online shop, helping to aid the purchasing process, bringing together the activity aspect of shopping in-store, with the convenience of online shopping. Data shows that many customers use this service as a means of comparison shopping and to search for product reviews, before they buy.

3. Market research tool

Mobile devices are a way of tracking consumer trends, habits and preferences, providing the perfect market research tool. Businesses can enrich their marketing strategies by looking to data from mobile devices to help them understand the behavior and demands of their customers. When used in conjunction with the success (or failures) of online web sales and in-store sales, businesses may find that this alternative platform provides a lucrative marketing opportunity and can act upon this as such.

Devices installed with GPS allow businesses to target certain locations with promotions or ads for local deals, blended naturally into a consumer’s search results. Also it is possible, particularly in the case of app downloads, to determine the location of your customers. With this is mind it can prove to be an invaluable detail to marketing strategies, pushing specifically targeted campaigns.

Introducing a mobile app or mobile-compatible website enables consumers to better connect with a business’ social media accounts, and perform shopping and social interactions all at the same time. Businesses who build a strong social media following can use this to their advantage to drive mobile sales, like Topshop often do. Special promotions can subsequently be implemented into a marketing strategy to boost mobile conversion rates, such as discount codes which only work on the retailer’s app.

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