The latest ONS retail sales figures show that the volume of online spending increased year-on-year by 15.9% and by 1.8% compared to last month.
As footfall on the high street continues to drop, e-commerce has seen a continuous rise, but attention is now drawn to m-commerce. Last year, one-third of online retail came from mobile. Over half of traffic to retail websites is now directed via smartphones and tablets, with mobile commerce now accounting for 36% of UK e-retail sales and rising to 40% for clothing and apparel websites.
Customers want the choice to be able to shop, browse and review products and services across different channels – in store, mobile, website, social media, emails and SMS. 80% of shoppers used a mobile phone inside of a physical store to either look up product reviews, compare prices or find alternative store locations.
As retail apps become more popular with shoppers, more retailers are investing in their mobile app strategy to help them connect with customers who are on-the-go. Providing customers with a mobile app that enhances and simplifies their in-store shopping experience is a key way to increase customer satisfaction and retention. Developing a mobile strategy for retailers allows them to connect with their customer in store and provide additional cross-selling opportunities across multiple channels.
Kelly White, London General Manager at World Wide Technology Asynchrony Labs comments: "From fashion outlets to banks, retail apps are boosting speed and convenience for customers. Smartphones and tablets have become embedded into the modern shoppers' psyche. We treat our mobile phones as knowledge hubs, and so if we see something we like, our first port of call is to get our phones out and search for it. In order to maximise revenue and optimise customer engagement, mobile apps must create a seamless shopping experience – from one click checkouts to same day delivery, customers want an app that epitomises efficiency and convenience.
Kelly White continues: "As the market matures, and competition becomes fiercer, retailers are becoming smarter in how they interact with their customers. Ultimately, it's about capturing a personal connection with the customers, which can be enabled by smart digital tools. While it is important to have a user-friendly interface for customers, it is also imperative for retailers to utilise customer data that is retrieved from mobile apps."