RetailTechNews has asked industry thought leaders what they believe 2019 will hold for the retail sector. Today’s topic sees experts take a closer look at what next year has in store for m-commerce.
“On Black Friday, mobile commerce accounted for an impressive USD$2bn (£1.59bn), or 20%, of Black Friday sales. In fact, we’re starting to see mobile-first retailers outperform web/brick-and-mortar retailers. This is just the beginning, as mobile web and in-app purchases will continue to increase with consumers becoming more comfortable with both researching and making purchases on their handheld device. Consumers tend to switch between devices, which can make it difficult for brands to understand the user journey across multiple touchpoints, making it challenging to understand the ROI of a specific campaign. With this in mind, marketers also need to ensure that they have a cross-device strategy in place to more accurately measure the lifetime value of a customer over the course of their engagement with a brand, which will, in turn, informs strategy for creating more effective campaigns around big retail moments like Black Friday in the future.”
Paul Wright, Managing Director UK, Appsflyer
“Mobile commerce is already a big focus for lots of retailers, especially those in fashion. The challenge is giving shoppers an experience that bridges the offline-online gap. Research from our ‘Future of Fashtech’ report has shown that 61% of shoppers say shopping online takes longer because they can’t touch or see items before buying. Retailers can eradicate that frustration and uncertainty through smart payment options, like pay later, which gives customers the opportunity to try items at home and only pay for what they keep.
“Also, in 2019, we’ll see more brands investing in technology that really matters. Shoppers don’t want to see companies running before they can walk; and while edgy technology like AR and VR might look glamorous, our own findings show that consumers really just need the basics done right. That means a fast and convenient mobile-optimised checkout experience with multiple payment options to suit every shopper’s requirements.”
Luke Griffiths, General Manager, Klarna UK
“With the number of smartphone users set to reach 2.5 billion worldwide in 2019, mobile is one of the most important channels for retailers to get right. With consumers using these smartphones to engage and buy from brands, retailers will seek to innovate and provide an exceptional service.
“However, building and releasing new features and functionality requires substantial investment and, typically, it’s not done in a data-driven fashion, but by gut. Everyone knows that sometimes releases don’t have the desired impact, but the risk of a bad release and associated cost to a business should no longer be acceptable, as technology now exists to mitigate this risk. By using feature flags, combined with experimentation across the product lifecycle, features can be released to small groups to prove the value, before a more widespread rollout. With this approach, both the company and the user get a better result.”
Alasdair Henderson, UK General Manager, Optimizely
“In the midst of what many call the fourth industrial revolution, in which digital, physical, and biological worlds are colliding, retailers must consider the impact technology has on the customer experience. While consumers expect a quality product for a reasonable price, they also want an emotional tie to a brand, and that comes through a human connection.
“2019 will see companies finally learn the art of listening by developing a strategy that engages customers in the right way, at the right time, and on the right channel. Leveraging analytics, smart companies will monitor the entire customer journey across channels to ensure a consistent experience that drives loyalty.”
Rebecca Martin, Chief Marketing Officer, Calabrio
“It’s an exciting time for consumers and businesses alike, as the world of m-commerce continues to grow and evolve. It’s no secret that purchases made on mobile are expected to continue to increase in the future. This is partly due to the development of mobile payment systems, accelerated mobile pages (AMB), and heavy investment in mobile shopping apps and social media platforms; all of which are crucial tools to help businesses bring consumers the best possible shopping experience.
“Overall, businesses are now far more strategic in their approach to m-commerce. From personalising the mobile customer journey with geolocated targeting, to prioritising the importance of one-click checkout, it’s clear to see why customers are opting to shop on mobile over the high street. Since we launched our app in 2010, we’ve seen it downloaded over 190 million times globally. This is demonstrative of today’s buying behaviour. For those smaller, independent businesses that don’t have the resources to create their own app or mobile presence, being able to work with a company like Groupon and take advantage of its multiple online platforms, is key to a successful and cost-effective marketing strategy.”
Jon Wilson, Managing Director, Northern Europe, Groupon