The Mobile Explosion – The Device Changing the Face of Retail
As I scroll through the pages of my favorite industry pubs, it is hard to avoid the topic of mobile shopping. It’s everywhere! It’s going to be a race to the finish line for the top 500 retailer to see who wins the mobile shopping race.
You might ask why is mobile so important now?
Mobile is changing the way consumers shop. According to a recent Internet Retailer survey completed by Oracle and ATG, 29% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase of digital or physical merchandise using their mobile devices. 40% of online consumers ages 18-34 have made a mobile purchase. That figure is 27% for ages 35-54 and 17% for age 55 and older. What does a retailer need in order to have a successful mobile site? The site needs to be optimized for mobile – the jury is still out on which platform retail should use to launch their mobile site - weather an App, WAP, or m. site is the best option.
The Mobile Shopper vs. the Mobile Researcher
Putting actual mobile sales aside there is another trend emerging – the mobile researcher. Even more than purchasing on their mobile devices consumers are researching products on the web, the survey finds, showing that mobile sites and apps hold potential for boosting multichannel sales. 48% of U.S. adults have browsed or researched products on their mobile devices. Additionally, at iGoDigital, we’ve seen consumers take their researching to the next level with the ability to transition their search from mobile device to web.
This might sound great in theory but let me show you a practical example as to why this multi-channel continuity is so important. I was recently at a beauty store and forgot the SKU number of the makeup I usually use. I know I had purchased the product on my home computer so; I took out my phone, launched the company’s mobile app and signed into my account – under recent purchases there was the SKU of my makeup, clear as day. The connection to my information “offline” was the key differentiator weather I made a purchase or not.
Exponential Impact – Mobile + Product Recommendations
You could also use this multi-channel connection in the form of product recommendations and ensuring the recommendations are accurate regardless of channel. Let’s revisit my makeup scenario again. I am standing in the beauty store, I’ve logged into my account, I have my makeup SKU and I click through to the product page to ensure this is my makeup. Along the right hand side of the product page are product recommendations – “shoppers who bought this may also like…” - I see a smoky eye shadow kit and decide that would be great to purchase and try out this Friday night. So I also purchased the smoky eye shadow kit. I went to the cash register and paid for my foundation and eye shadow.
I am going to pause the story for a second – this personalized recommendation was instrumental in increasing the value of my basket, which in turn positively impacted the retailer’s bottom line.
Here’s how a retailers can dramatically increase their basket value by adding recommendations:
Pre- recommendations basket value: Foundation = $38
Purchase total = $38.
Post recommendation basket value: Foundation ($38) + smoky eye shadow ($24)
Purchase total = $62.
Recommendations $ impact = 61% or a $24 impact.
On a single purchase this might not seem like a like a big deal but, let’s say 100 people per day utilize product recommendations to boost their basket value.
Let’s check out the impact:
100 people x $24 basket value increase = $2400 more rev/day
= $16,800 additional revenue/week
= $873,600 additional revenue/year.
You can see how much on an impact recommendations on any channel can make. (For more information on iGoDigital’s ability to add personalized recommendations to channels check out the channel page on the iGoDigital Website.
Connecting The Dots Across Channels
Now that we understand the impact of mobile product recommendation Let’s get back to our story. Later that night, the beauty retailer sent a batch file of in-store purchase history to their personalization provider – this tied my in-store purchases to my customer profile. Now the next time I am standing in the store forgetting the shade of foundation I wear or that awesome smoky eye kit I purchased I’ll be able to connect the dots using my mobile device.
This small nuance is changing the way retailers utilize their mobile platform as well as the impact of additional tools, like a basket builder or product recommendations can make in a retailer’s bottom line. Additionally, retailers need to change their thinking in regards to “window shoppers” or shoppers “just researching.” You never know when customer might jump across channels and become your next customer.Rachel is the Director of Marketing for iGoDigital, the leading provider of personalization and product recommendation tools that guide smarter retail. The company currently serves many of the world’s most successful and respected retail brands, including Best Buy, Walmart, Nokia, Lids and Scholastic. iGoDigital is headquartered in Indianapolis, IN and was named to the 2008 “Inc 500” list of the fastest growing private companies.