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How mobile is changing the game this holiday season

Coming out of the frenzied post-Thanksgiving shopping period and heading into the home stretch of the holiday season, one thing is becoming abundantly clear—m-commerce, as in “mobile,” is accelerating in growth.

The increase in m-commerce is being driven, in part, by the continued growth in e-commerce. Consider these numbers from The Drum: The Adobe Digital Index predicted that $2.6 billion would be spent on Cyber Monday—a 15 percent increase over last year—while Black Friday sales were expected to rise 28 percent over last year to $2.48 billion. 

According to eMarketer, U.S. retailers are headed for another record-breaking e-commerce holiday season to the tune of $72.4 billion—a 16.6 percent increase over last season—and online sales could climb as high at $89 billion, as predicted by Forrester Research. This growth is spurring retailers and marketers to utilize mobile as a vital channel, and they’re quick to realize mobile's value as a dynamic content delivery and transactional component of integrated campaigns.

Another important factor in the rise of m-commerce is that we live in a 24/7 connected world. Consumers are no longer tethered to desk or laptop computers during their online shopping experience, nor do they have to wade through crowded store aisles or wait in long holiday checkout lines. Consumers are increasingly relying on their mobile devices for the delivery of up-to-date and relevant information, and they are connecting with their favorite brands through social media and apps, which is shaping their final purchasing decisions. 

M-commerce has the power to help consumers not only navigate—physically and online—to the best deals, but to also browse, review and compare items, stores, deals and prices, all while actively shopping from wherever they may be. Further, as mobile payment systems become easier to use, more reliable and secure, transactions will continue to rise and could one day become the preferred method of payment.

On the flip side, mobile gives marketers and retailers the ability to push out dynamic and targeted content in the moment and influence and shape consumer-shopping habits. Mobile location data can also provide marketers and retailers with key insights into consumer behavior and purchasing patterns.

What does this mean? 

Mostly, engagement with consumers must continue across multiple channels, and the content being delivered must be integrated, compelling and relevant. Marketers and retailers, now more than ever, have the opportunity to engage consumers with actionable content. This means an experience that begins online and extends to social can further push the envelope through mobile, resulting in sales.

Mobile apps can bridge the gap once consumers leave home or office and keep them engaged with compelling content and product information on the fly, while offering real-time mobile sales promotions, incentives and discounts that lead directly to conversion. Also, location-based technology is giving retailers the ability to push out geo-targeted ads to consumers, which increases the overall relevance of their mobile shopping experience.

For retailers and marketers, the opportunity to engage consumers with relevant integrated multi-channel content and influence in-the-moment purchases has never been greater. Mobile is the next frontier and will only become more important in the overall marketing mix. Mobile apps and m-commerce are in position to be "the last mile" in driving consumers to spend more money this holiday season and beyond. 

Even as consumers browse websites from home and office or venture out to the mall, their devices will be close at hand with mobile apps open, ready to shop until they drop—or at least until they glance down at their screens and hit “buy.”

 

Posted Fri, Dec 12, 2014 by Slingshot in News