Earlier this year I was asked in an interview what my predictions and expectations were for this year’s holiday season. That’s a tough one, because no one really knows. However, while I expect overall e-commerce to grow in the low double digits, we really need to pay special attention to mobile commerce this year.
I briefly touched on mobile in the first part of this series. But with a dramatic increase in smartphone and tablet sales since last holiday season, I think m-commerce will show the biggest year-over-year growth of any channel this year. I think we can expect it to at least double from last season. However, even though I’m predicting big growth, mobile’s biggest impact will come not only from its role as a stream of revenue but from its role as a companion channel for store shoppers.
Last year was the first year we saw mobile have a significant impact on the customer experience because of its companion channel utility – consumers use mobile WHILE they’re in a store, even while on a website or on a call with the call center.
Retailers are going to find this to be a significant force to be reckoned with. Customers are going to be trolling the aisles of their favorite stores looking at their phones, and they’re either going to be looking at that store’s app or mobile site for product and pricing information, or at a competitor’s.
In fact our Top-100 research shows that consumers use their mobile phone while in a store to:
- Visit the store’s website (52%)
- Visit a competitor’s site (36%)
- Visit a shopping comparison site (21%)
- Visit the store’s mobile app (15%)
- Visit a competitor’s mobile app (9%)
This should go without saying, but I’m going to anyway: mobile has a huge impact on customer engagement and should be a priority. However it’s critical that nothing stands still if you are implementing a mobile initiative and that customer experience improvements are being made across all channels, not one moving forward at the expense of another.
For a more in depth look at the impact mobile has in the retail space read my post Satisfaction Matters (More) in Mobile.
Have a merry mobile holiday season!