The Future of Mobile for Retailers

The Telegraph reported on 28th October 2010, that the UK has the most developed internet economy in the world (according to a recent report from Boston Consulting Group which was commissioned by Google) with the largest online e-commerce market per person, researchers have found. You can find the continuation here. The UK also has the second largest online advertising market world wide, after the United States. If the internet was an economic sector it would be the fifth largest – outweighing the UK’s construction, transport and utilities industries. So what’s this got to do with mobile and why should retailers be looking to focus on mobile commerce? According to ABI research “Mobile commerce is set to grow to $119bn by 2015 and this market is growing solidly in Europe too, and is expected to outpace the US by the end of 2010.”

Some retailers are adopting effective mobile strategies and offer an enhanced brand experience on mobile. But according to a recent BigMouthMedia survey “three quarters of UK brands don’t understand the value of having mobile enabled websites” and “UK Enterprises also revealed that 70% currently have no mobile strategy.”

The thing with mobile is it’s real time. Retailers can talk to customers anywhere anytime. Mobile is the most intuitive and immediate response channel available, encouraging impulse purchasing and instant response to above-the-line and CRM messaging.

Audiences are already trying to find retailers through their mobiles. “25% of consumers said they would never visit a retailer’s website again if they had a negative experience on their mobile”, according to a YouGov BrandBank Mcommerce Content Report in 2010.

And according to a more recent report from Adobe Mobile Experience Survey in November 2010, the following graph shows the consumer products purchased through mobile devices in the last 6 Months.

Consumer Products Purchased through Mobile Devices in Last 6 Months

It’s no surprise then to expect the next generation will demand all their services to be available on the platform of their choice and it’s more than likely to be a mobile device.

Smartphones, for example are set to achieve nearly complete market penetration in youth and adult sectors within 3 years. This uptake will be driven by the need to access digital content such as social networks and video on the move.

Morgan Stanley predicts mobile users will exceed desktop internet users within 5 years. No surprise really when you think that the global penetration for mobile handsets far out numbers desktop PCs.

Banking and payments are going mobile. VISA are allegedly spending over $200m on global mobile services. Increased awareness of contactless enabled handsets means that soon, a consumer’s mobile, will also be their wallet.

Mobile App or Browser-Based Site? A recent report says the browser will win on mobile. Mobile search company Taptu believes the future of the Mobile Web is likely to be dominated by cross-platform browser-based mobile web sites – rather than apps built specifically for iPhone, Android, or any other platform.

Taptu estimates that there are 326,000 Mobile Touch Web sites worldwide, which they say compares to 148,000 iPhone apps in the App Store and 24,000 apps in the Android market. Taptu expects the browser-based mobile web market to grow much faster than the app market.

Users prefer mobile browsers over downloadable mobile apps for accessing content.

Users prefer mobile browsers over downloadable mobile apps for accessing content

Across all categories, respondents generally prefer using mobile web browsers to downloadable mobile applications except when interacting with social media, games, maps and music.

M&S launches Your M&S Mobile website.
Launched in May 2010, Your M&S mobile is a full retail site for Marks and Spencer, and as such represents the first large-scale deployment to the mobile web by a UK retailer. The site is to sell every product available on the M&S website, allow sync-ing with online accounts, and work for every mobile device in the UK

According to New Toy London, the developers of the Your M&S Mobile site, “the site has been launched to a very positive response, especially regarding its look and feel”
- 1.2m unique visitors (May-Aug 2010)
- 300,000 orders (same period)
- Everything sells – TVs to furniture to clothes
- £3,280 is the largest order (two leather sofas)


Tesco rolls out grocery shopping app
09 September 2010
Supermarket giant Tesco is launching a free app for the iPhone that will enable users to log in to their online grocery account and shop on the go.

26 October 2010
Tesco has updated its iPhone app to include a barcode reader that enables customers to quickly add items to their online shopping basket.

08 November 2010
Tesco Direct has launched its first mobile website, dedicated to non-food and household items, and promises the launch of several more sites in the coming months.

Tesco Direct

The dedicated mobile website aims to build on a 300% increase in the use of Tesco Direct from mobile phones over the past year to around 500,000 users per month.

The site gives shoppers the chance to scan the product range, compare items and prices, buy items and work-out a convenient delivery time.


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