Friday, June 02, 2017

The mobile online shopping revolution is definitely coming—but nobody's sure when

Over the past decade, widespread adoption of mobile devices and expansion of mobile functionality has seen mobile online shopping (i.e. purchasing goods on mobile device) steadily grow. As discussed in the article by Patrick Kulp, consumers traditionally made online purchases through their desktops, yet have steadily transitioned to mobile. Despite this shift, mobile still has its downsides with many consumers still reluctant to make purchases from a smartphone. In reference to consumer’s hesitancy to purchase, the article notes that “surveys often chalk this reluctance up to the constraints of small screens, cluttered and clunky shopping sites that don't translate well to phones, and payment security worries.” So, although consumers aren’t as eager to make purchases on their mobile devices, it is noted that “two thirds of retail site or app traffic now comes from mobile…even though consumers are less than half as likely to buy something there.”

With this article, it doesn’t seem that mobile vs. desktop is an either/or decision but rather two retail avenues that complement and support each other. Investment in both mobile and desktop display will be critical for the future of retailers, and will help drive growth from one platform to the next. Additionally, strong site UIs, with a focus on user experience across all platforms will be critical for retailers to convert web traffic to sales.

These evolving online shopping habits will place a greater importance on a firm’s ability to collect and sync customer data across platforms. Even today, retailers are attempting to manage troves of customer data to attribute the purchase to a channel or channels. Understanding how these platforms complement each other will help drive the marketing decisions and dollars for online mobile shopping.

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