With consumers expecting shopping experiences to complement their own lifestyles, retailers need to better integrate mobile solutions across the whole of the customer journey to ensure sustainable growth and customer retention. This is according to Andy Burton, CEO of Tryzens, provider of retail and B2B digital commerce solutions.
"The retail world is changing fast, almost completely driven by the evolving behaviours of modern consumers. The increasing popularity of mobile and smart devices is a key driver behind this," commented Burton.
"Ofcom reported in 2015 that 66 per cent of UK adults regularly use a smartphone, while the Interactive Media in Retail Group found that 51 per cent of online sales between November and January were conducted on mobile devices rather than traditional computers or laptops. On top of this, OC&C, PayPal and Google reported last year that 59 per cent of online sales in the UK were conducted through smartphones or tablets, far more than the US at 49 per cent.
"The UK is proving to be a market where a mobile retail strategy is imperative for success. However, these findings also reveal that UK retailers are only doing the bare minimum to capitalise on the popularity of mobile shopping, with limited mobile-optimised websites and low in-store solutions. This needs to be addressed by today's ecommerce businesses to truly take advantage of the continually shifting purchasing habits of today's consumers."
Vend's 2016 Retail Trends and Predictions featured forecasts from retail industry experts on the direction of the sector this year. Of the top predictions featured, over half of them discussed how the role of mobile devices is set to rise for modern retailers, stressing the need to ecommerce managers to implement strong mobile solutions to take advantage of this market direction.
Burton continued: "Critically, mobile strategies from UK retailers have to synch up with their ecommerce and in-store offers to enable a complete omnichannel experience for customers. From apps, to mobile commerce, to social media 'shopable' content, the options are numerous and growing. Retailers underinvest in mobile optimisation at their peril. There is always room for improvement, whether it be a truly responsive site, simple payment options (Apple, Amazon, Klarna), increased service options when shopping on mobile, QR code scanning for offers, in-store stock-checking and mobile-first sales periods, there are numerous tactics retailers can employ to capitalise on shoppers comfortable with mobile technologies.
"The message to retailers is clear: improve your mobile strategies or risk losing out. It is vital that ecommerce businesses recognise this fact, or else they could risk losing customers to more tech-savvy retailers as the developing market leaves them behind," he concluded.