The Future: How Mobile Technology is Changing Retail [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Ian Newcombe on Tue, Jul 29, 2014

Embracing mobile commerce and engaging with customers through their smartphones and tablets will help your multi-channel retail business to cut a slice of this $119 billion (about £76 billion) marketplace.


The Future how smartphones are changing retail


MCommerce, or the use of smartphones and tablets for shopping, is growing exponentially without any signs of slowing.

“MCommerce will be worth $119 billion [about £76 billion] worldwide by 2015.”
ABI Research

Much of this is driven by customer demands for access to retailers across a broad range of channels.

“40% of customers believe it is very important to be able to purchase from a retailer from different channels.”

Morgan & Stanley predicts that, by 2014, sales via a mobile device will overtake sales from a PC.

Smartphone and tablet use is also changing the way customers behave in-store. 

“70% of smartphone users compare product prices in-store.”

This is not, however, the threat that many retailers assume it is.

"Only four per cent of shoppers did their research in a physical store before buying online, and higher prices in-store or products not being in stock were the primary reasons these shoppers chose to purchase online instead of at the store."
Australian Centre for Retail Studies report into omni-channel preferences

Smartphones = opportunity

Some retailers are embracing these new habits to create additional multi-channel retail opportunities to connect with customers.

  • US retailer Neiman Marcus has created a smartphone app to be used in-store to connect customers with new products and customised offers
  • Staff are alerted to the presence of ‘connected’ customers via in-store sensors, allowing them to see past purchase history and to offer enhanced customer service.

81% of smartphone users have done product research via smartphone and 50% have made a purchase with one.

30% of tablet users have used their device to shop online, while currently only 25% of smartphone owners have used their phone to do the same. Almost half (48%) of tablet owners have used their devices to research products in-store, while only 29% have done the same via their smartphone.

Key takeaways

Smartphones and tablets may be a gateway to the internet, but they also offer retailers a raft of new ways:

  • to connect with customers
  • to provide better service to customers
  • to cross-sell, up-sell and more based on past purchase history
  • to increase customer loyalty
  • to sell more goods and increase profits.

The key is to have rock solid multi-channel software to underpin these multi-channel retail operations. Is your multi-channel software geared up for mobile?

To find out more, download How to guide: smaller retailers which became multi-channel success stories now!

Want to become a multi-channel success story?

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Topics: Retail, Multi-channel, Mobile