Mobile eCommerce is as important to business today as online stores started to become a decade ago. It makes sense as a natural progression. After all, just as eCommerce sprung from a maturing world wide web, mobile retail grew from the uptake of smartphones and data networks.
This progression led to certain customer expectation which in turn drives retail strategy. Thus, mobile eCommerce becomes more of a “must-have” for retailers to remain competitive.
Think back to just before true eCommerce. In the 2000s, a retailer or brand might own a rudimentary website. They’d post opening hours, contact information, background information on the founder, the company and the products.
However, most of the time, they would direct customers to other channels to make a purchase. In other words, you could not mistake a website for an eCommerce channel, back in the day.
As websites evolved, customers gradually expected more, including the option to purchase directly online.
These days, of course, customers take eCommerce for granted. And with the rise of smartphones, that demand extends to their handheld screens.
According to Retail Dive, consumer research spells out some very particular demands. Customers want to go beyond shopping and buying. They start to seek personalization that enhances the in-store experience. They also expect special offers, loyalty rewards and more. If you have an app, 68% of consumers say the main reason they would use it is to get “deals and offers”.
Retail consultants say mobile eCommerce bridges the gap between brick-and-mortar and online stores. They suggest ways to reduce the time a customer needs to search the web for information.
Big retail chains, for example, could add things like geolocation to find the nearest store. Stock availability, in-store promotion reminders, and other features tailored to customer purchase history can also help.
The starting point, however, is to ensure your eCommerce website is optimized for mobile eCommerce and integrated with the rest of your supply chain.