As “always connected” is becoming the new motto of our digitized world, the spectrum of mobile devices on the ground is representing that transformation like true brand ambassadors. Hence, it is not surprising that consumers are getting accustomed to a mobile-driven experience when shopping online. According to Criteo’s state of mobile commerce report (4th quarter, 2014), mobile eats up 30% of the global e-commerce sales pie. During the same period, the respective figure for the US is 27%. Echoing these sentiments in absolute numbers, Forrester says, in 2018 aggregate sales from mobile phones and tablets in the US will comfortably sit atop the $293 billion mark.
An intriguing element of the pervasive ascendancy of mobile is that it is bi-directional. One stream of it is spearheaded by native applications while the other is guided by mobile websites. Studies have indicated over and over again that both are going strong. Recently, comScore has reported that 52% of the total time US users dedicate to feast on digital media is attributed to mobile devices making them the top medium for doing so. Preceding this, an Adobe study has opined that app users score high on loyalty meter than those who land on sellers’ websites via cellular handsets. Similarly, mobile-optimized sites have compelling cases in favor of them. According to Skava, a San Francisco-based m-commerce platform provider, on last Black Friday, mobile websites accounted for an elephantine 97% of retail sales at its client companies.
Whichever way shoppers prefer to tread, the bottom line is that mobile is here to rule. Now, here’s a recap of how the story of mobility has turned out in 2014, especially during the festive season. Also, on the platter is why a considerable number of businesses are yet to take the bit between their teeth.
Jingle bells, jingle bells, mobile all the way!
The vacation time shopping frenzy in 2014, i.e., the two-month window comprised of November and December, has seen mobile fiercely dominating every aspect of the game: sales, traffic, and conversions. Let’s get off the blocks with some broad-brush numbers from IBM, then we will narrow down gradually. It reveals that 45% of all internet retail traffic during the holidays has its origin in mobile devices. If we talk about sales, then mobile sales are responsible for 22.6% of online sales for this period. But, in the case of average order value placed, old-school desktops and laptops have won by a nose. For mobile, the value is $104.82, in comparison the value for desktops and laptops combined is $125.12. Under the influence of these terrific trends, it’s only natural that many retail giants have experienced an avalanche of mobile shoppers connecting to them. E-tailing leader Amazon.com, as internet Retailer reports, for instance, has recorded that 3/5th of visitors have used smartphones and tablets to reach its site.
Now, move on to some device specific stats. Smartphones, according to IBM, have powered 31.2% of total web traffic over the entirety of the duration in question. Tablets have been proved laggard in the race with 2.5 times lesser traffic. Nevertheless, in the war of actual purchase, it has shaken off smartphones with the former generating 13.2% of online sales and the latter stands at 9.1%. When individual patterns regarding the two big days, Cyber Monday, and Black Friday, from both sides of the pond, are juxtaposed, a slight difference can be noticed. In the US, 22% of all Cyber Monday sales have been completed through mobile devices, and on Black Friday that have inched up to 27.9%. On the other hand, numerical counterparts for the UK are 43% and 47%.
Still sitting on the fence
Though a mobile-first mindset is now strategically important to enterprises, it seems that it has cut no ice with a slew of them. In point of fact, they are simply living in a kind of “ignorance is bliss” paradigm. A survey commissioned by Robert Half Technology in early 2014 has made some shocking disclosures about this aberration. Among the respondent companies, 28% have said they lack a mobile strategy. Again, on the apps front, 58% of them have not developed any app for customers and partners and decided to continue like that in the coming 12 months also. Industry-wise, retail, and business services are the best performers when it comes to adopting mobile technologies while in the healthcare sector the picture is abysmally pale.
How to get there?
With the mobile revolution spreading faster than can be predicted, it’s an open secret that firms joining it stand a chance of gaining various advantages. These include improved sales, competitive upper hand, speedy and accurate decision-making, superior customer interaction, higher cost curtailment, the creation of a flexible environment to aid workforce productivity, or supercharged brand awareness. Prudent investments in mobility are therefore essential to go over with a bang. But, before making the move to deploy an enterprise-wide mobile plan, they have to admit that mobility is indeed posing a challenge. Next, the top honchos of organizations must prop up initiatives falling in the mobile domain. Further, the organizations need to establish a functional mobile center of excellence for overall governance of the processes involved and to foster a close alliance between pure business goals and IT priorities in a multichannel ecosystem.