Demand is there for mobile shopping

Here’s a couple of interesting points that go to show consumers here in the UK really are ready and willing to embrace the mobile shopping experience:

– ASOS, a fashion retailer, generated over £1m in a single month just two months after the launch of their mobile site.

– Both John Lewis and M&S have reported selling items in excess of £3,000 via mobile.

I’m not sure how much more proof UK retailers need that the demand is there but so many still do not have decent, usable, mobile solutions on offer. Getting something built and launched doesn’t necessarily have to be a huge, time intensive project…mobile web applications, essentially mobile optimised web sites, can quite often do the job just as well as native applications.

Getting ready for our Mobile Future

Some of you may have noticed the recent skew towards mobile related blog posts over the last couple of weeks. Well that’s because we want to highlight the importance that mobile is going to play in 2011. As one well known digital marketer recently stated, taking a “wait and see” approach to mobile is no longer the way forward. Today’s consumer is already mobile and this strategy will only “land your brand squarely in the consumer’s rear view mirror”.

According to Gartner research, mobile will outpace the desktop web by 2013 with more mobile devices accessing the Internet than PCs. But if you’re thinking that 2013 seems a long way off, well think again. Here in the UK, mobile internet retail sales are already worth £123 million and are set to more than double over the next two years. According to the latest research by Ofcom, 23% of UK’s mobile phone users now regularly use their handsets to access the internet and as the uptake in smartphones increases so too will mobile internet usage. Already many mainstream UK businesses are reporting that between 5-15% of their overall site traffic is mobile based and with more than 50% of users aged 18-39 also checking their email on their mobile if you have an e-CRM programme there’s another channel that needs to be optimised for mobile!

So here’s a challenge for you: have a quick check of your site statistics. This will illustrate just how popular your website already is with mobile users. It could also highlight the need for a mobile-specific interface, especially if the mobile stats don’t paint a pretty customer experience e.g. a high bounce rate for key site pages viewed on a mobile device. Then have a look at your own company site on your mobile. For example, if your non-mobile optimised website has components that use Flash, any iPhone/iPad browsers will not be able to render the content ultimately resulting in a poor user experience.

Want to learn more? Need some help building your business case for your investment in mobile and for working out what the return on your investment would be? BoxStuff now offers a range of mobile services so get in touch now and talk to us about how you can ready yourself and your business for today’s rapidly developing mobile future.

Mobile Coupons

Its official, we’re a nation that loves coupons and more precisely mobile coupons. Recent research shows that 29% of British shoppers have used a mobile coupon vs only 15% of shoppers in the US. Not only that but 71% of the British consumers surveyed showed an interest in having coupons delivered to their mobiles.

Retailers are picking up on this consumer trend according to a recent report by the IHL Group and RetailConnections with 54% of retailers contacted saying they plan to put in place m-couponing systems within the next 12 months.

More convenient for the consumer as they benefit from the timely, targeted nature of the digital communication, this shows in the high redemption rates attributable to coupons distributed digitally: 10-15% compared to an overall 1.2%.

The New Rules of Mobile Marketing

Here’s an article I found on Adotas written by Bryce Marshall. All of his rules ring true but it was particularly the first one that really struck a chord with me:

Old rule: Taking a “wait and see” approach to mobile, or employing an under-funded “toe-dipping” methodology.

New rule: The consumer is mobile. This is a reality. In 12 to 18 months, the mobile landscape will be forever changed. The “wait and see” and “toe-dip” approaches will land your brand squarely in the consumers’ rear-view mirror. At minimum, a brand’s mobile strategy and budgets should be aligned to create mobile-friendly experiences across key digital touch points and critical business services.

Mobile Internet Usage & Trends

Well Econsultancy has published their latest statistics on mobile internet usage and trends from both here in the UK and Europe. I’ve picked out a few of the interesting ones:

  • 42% of UK shoppers have used their mobile phones while shopping offline, while 16% used it to compare prices with other stores.
  • 55% of small businesses have not checked the appearance of their own website on a mobile phone, despite the fact that 64% of small business owners regularly use the mobile web.
  • 41% of SMEs said their website didn’t look as good on a mobile, while 36% said the functionality had been affected.
  • Just 7% have already optimised their sites for mobile, but 65% had no plans for a mobile version.
  • According to a study of 1,500 people in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain shoppers who use their mobile in some part of the research and purchase process spend 15% to 30% more than those who use just one channel.
  • UK users prefer to access the mobile internet using a browser rather than an ‘app’ (70% versus 55%) according to a study by Orange.
  • Mobile internet sales could double in the next 3 years. By 2013 mobile internet sales could reach as much as £275m, 4% of online retail spending, up from £123m currently.

Mobile Barcoding

Mobile BarcodeWell Amazon have entered the fray and have added a nice new feature to their iPhone mobile shopping app. Users can now scan a barcode on a product and instantly get matching product and pricing information from Amazon’s catalogue allowing them to comparison shop as they are are walking through a store.

According to Amazon, its sales from mobile devices surpassed $1 billion last year so this new added functionality is only going to help drive this revenue stream.

This follows eBay and Google who have both already made their entries into this space. eBay recently purchasing RedLaser and Google adding barcode scanning to their Product Search last year.

Location-Based Marketing

Two new services that have recently been launched – one that’s already here in the UK and one no doubt to follow very soon – are bringing the power of location-based marketing alive.

Here in the UK, O2 has recently announced the launch of a six-month pilot scheme of location-based mobile marketing, in partnership with US firm Placecast. Customers can opt in to the service, by registering on o2more.co.uk, that will then see them receive relevant marketing messages, depending on their age, gender, interests and location.

The service uses Placecast’s geo-fencing technology meaning that when users enter a geo-fenced area ‘owned’ by participating advertisers, they will receive promotions and discounts via SMS and MMS.

Then at a recent gathering at their Palo Alto offices, Facebook announced an extension to their Places feature. Now businesses will have the ability to offer deals to users who ‘check in’ using the site’s Places feature.

One of the first partnerships Facebook announced was with the Gap. It plans to run a campaign offering a free pair of jeans to the first 10,000 users who check in to their local Gap store using Facebook’s mobile application.