Mobile phones and tablets are no longer pricey (and exclusive) gadgets designed for people to play with on subways or airplanes. The media predicts that mobile tech will go mainstream in 2014. Along with wearable tech, Amazon drones, and virtual reality, mobile phones and tablets are poised to be an indispensable part of your everyday life. If you have a business with a mobile component, mainstreaming of technology may help your business in many ways.
Stephanie Frasco, a reporter with Social Media Today, says that every website needs to be optimized for mobile viewing ASAP. “This means having a responsive design,” she says, “and thinking about how people interact with your business via mobile devices.”
She’s right, of course. According to research done by Millward Brown Digital, an organization that specializes in branding in the digital age, people who use their mobile phones visit more retail sites per month than those who shop from their computers at home. The numbers don’t lie. Smartphone shoppers visit retail outlets 6.2 times per month, while people using PCs only get to the mall 2.9 times in a 30-day period. That’s a significant difference and signifies a consumer paradigm shift.
AdWeek reports, ”With all that opportunity to capture mobile purchases (or lose them to rivals), there’s all the more reason for retailers to make sure their mobile strategy is airtight.”
Not surprisingly, mobile shoppers are also using search engines and social media more than PC shoppers are. This reinforces the need for venerable brick-and-mortar retailers with enviable street addresses and attractive signage to reevaluate their advertising and outreach habits.
Here are a few more insights from the Millward Brown Digital report.
Mobile devices don’t hurt retailers via showrooming (the art of espying a product in-store before buying it online). Smartphone users simply go online for additional information while they’re in the store.
Seeing the product on the shelf is actually an incentive to buy it, says Matthew Quint who co-wrote a similar study recently for the Columbia Business School. Showrooming is a bit of a myth, he says. Most people don’t waste their time going to a store if they’re not already prepared to make a purchase in the first place.
M-shoppers also pay close attention to brand sites and coupon sites—two places that provide instant incentives for spending money. PC users, on the other hand, prefer to peruse review sites before making a purchasing decision.
And finally, the Millward study says that mobile shoppers are more tech savvy and are more in tune with entertainment and leisurely pursuits—two things than sync up perfectly with people on the go.
For example: mobile shoppers are five times more inclined to get out of the house to see a stage show, a movie, a concert, and a football game.
They are also more interested in technology and gadgets than their PC counterparts. Which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. If you’re wired at the grocery store or the ballpark, it makes sense that you’re probably sporting a smartwatch, a Fitbit, a phablet, and a Kindle. As a retailer, these consumer preferences should be easy to exploit.
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