It still boggles my mind that the smartphones in our pockets have more computing power than the computers NASA used to send Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that smartphones are changing everything, from the way we interact with one another to the way we shop. According to Google’s Shopping Marketing Council, 79% of smartphone owners are smartphone shoppers. Of those shoppers, 84% use their phone to help shop while in store.
What does it mean? Brands and retailers must adapt to survive. Mobile shopping isn’t personal, it’s practical. From a consumer’s perspective, here’s why.
In-store sales associates are great. The good ones welcome you with a warm, friendly smile and say “I’ll be over here if you need anything.” Due to the nature of their job, however, they sometimes hover. Nobody likes to be hovered. Smartphones don’t hover. Why talk to a person who may or may not have the answers you need when you can ask Siri for detailed information in an instant, or read product reviews from real people just like you?
Retail giants like Kohl’s and Target have already started to channel insights like these into app updates that cater to customers who use mobile search as a complement to in-store shopping. Adapt and get ahead. It’s not too late for your brand to do the same.
Anything mobile is more convenient than the alternative. In this case, shopping online via your mobile device is more convenient than wading through a parking lot, walking inside, looking around, dodging sales associates, and maybe—just maybe, leaving with what you came for. There’s still value in visiting brick and mortar stores, trying clothes on, or touching and using products, but not everybody has time for that. Today’s consumers want things on-demand, at the touch of a button. E-commerce sites optimized for mobile make it happen.
Amazon Prime, costing just $99/year, launched with a promise of guaranteed two-day delivery. Today, a large number of their goods can be delivered within a day. Amazon Prime Air, “a delivery system designed to safely get packages to customers using unmanned aerial vehicles,” promises delivery times of 30 minutes or less. The service isn’t mainstream yet, but it’ll get there. Pretty convenient, huh?
Close your eyes and imagine a world with no cash register lines, no credit card chip readers, and no receipt signatures. Now, open your eyes because that world already exists—and you’re living in it.
PayPal. Venmo. Apple Pay. Samsung Pay. The list goes on. Banking has gone mobile and payment vendors have followed suit. Even social platforms like Facebook and Instagram have added commerce applications to their algorithms. In a few easy steps, you can set up a Shop Section on your Facebook page. For Instagram, consumers can tap products in organic photos or ads and purchase them from the retailer’s site without leaving the platform.
The future is scary for some and exciting for others, but one thing’s for certain: the future is most definitely mobile.
How do you see mobile changing online shopping experiences? Comment below.